One of Scotland’s leading concert venues is set to stage regular “phone-free” concerts in future.
The Usher Hall in Edinburgh has hailed the success of a show by American rocker Jack White which saw fans urged either to leave devices at home or place them inside lockable pouches. His promoters had warned fans they would not be allowed into the show if they insisted on using their phone, but urged them to embraced a “100 per cent human experience”. General manager Karl Chapman said the show, the first time a phone-free pop or rock gig has been attempted at the venue, passed off without any problems and was warmly received by his followers.
He said the venue was likely to explore doing the same again in response to requests from artists who have been turned down in the past over concerns that a mobile ban would have been impractical. White has joined forces with US tech firm Yondr to stage a phone-free tour. Fans were asked to surrender devices on arrival at the Usher Hall, where staff placed them in foam pouches which were locked before they entered the auditorium. They were allowed to set them to vibrate in case of any emergency calls. Designated phone use areas were set up around the venue, but phones had to be locked back up again before fans returned to the main arena.
Ticketholders were told: “We think you’ll enjoy looking up from your gadgets for a little while and experience music and our shared love of it IN PERSON. Repost our photos and videos as much as you want and enjoy a phone-free, 100 per cent human experience.” [ . . . ]
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