With news of Apple being granted permission for a patent that would block iPhones from taking pictures/videos during or around concerts, we decided to ask the artists themselves what they thought. From Colin Newman, all the way through to Sonny Smith, its seems as though artists think Apple might be heading down an undesirable path.


Colin Newman of Wire

I'm curious who this is supposed to protect? From a performer's point of view, I personally don't mind fan photos, yeah the videos usually sound rubbish but then they are, in a perverse way, a good advert for actually being at a gig as everybody knows it sounds better than that! It's more tricky from a fan's point of view as nobody of normal size likes that large tall person holding up their phone so they are blocking the view of everyone behind and near them. But then they'd still be a large tall person obstructing views even without a phone...


Brandon Welchez of Crocodiles

Phones can definitely get annoying at gigs for the musicians but who am I to tell people how to enjoy a show they paid for? If people were throwing iPhones at us or something then I'd say yes, ban them. Actually, I'd probably collect them all to sell after the show. But in general, if someone is just filming a song or taking a picture I'm not bothered by it. As long as people aren't being disrespectful with their phones I think it's their right to experience a gig however they want.


Photo by Flore Diamant.


Club Kuru

I'm surprised Apple don't just want everyone using their phones all the time for everything. Could it be possible they want to stop pirate copies of gigs getting out? Or is this a genuine show of good faith to get the feeling back into gigs? Part of me thinks, screw those guys and their rules. I mean who are they to stop you using the thing you just bought from them? You pay a lot of cash for one and your stuck paying it back every month in a two-year contract.

But isn't it so depressing to look around a gig at a sea of screens, heads bent over to check they got what they need, or turned up towards the phone they hold high above their heads, all the while missing the show and the whole point? If Apple are truly trying to stop performances becoming a mass filming session then maybe I've got time for it. The proposed Apple system would be like the opposite of a noise control system in a club which cuts out the music when it gets too loud for the neighbours. Forcing people to revert to the way we used to do things with our eyes in a room in one reality.


Chet Vincent of The Big Bend

People taking photos and videos with phones at our shows has never bothered me. Perhaps it's because we are a smaller band and are excited that anyone would want to take our picture, or maybe it's because we grew up with phones at shows -- either way it just seems to be part of the experience these days. I suspect it's more about big labels making money off of their celebrities than it is a concert-going experience thing, but I can imagine circumstances when it could be cool.


Sonny Smith of Sonny & The Sunsets

Guess they should invent a cyber-ray to vaporize the people's snuck in booze as well.


Photo by Flore Diamant.


George Pauley of The By Gods

As a performer and a fan, people on their phones at shows has never really bothered me. If someone pays for an over-priced ticket to see you play then they should be able to share about their experiences. It only benefits the artist. I understand where artists gripe about people on their phones aren't getting the experience. But, come on... nine times out of ten, they are most likely telling their social network how awesome you are. Lighten up.


Shayde Sartin of Sonny & The Sunsets / The Fresh & Onlys

I think it's alarming that they even have the technology to do that. It seems like something that could be incredibly problematic and a slippery slope. Not every artist is concerned with being caught in an unattractive light. Sadly, this eyes on everything world we now live in is just the unfortunate reality of living with these devices. Seems like a real waste of resources.


Night Flowers

To me it's painfully obvious how unethical this is. If Apple can block your camera in a concert hall, then where next? Galleries, shops, protests...when does it stop? Plus, what if someone's harassing you in a concert, but your camera's blocked so you can't record any evidence. This goes way beyond the music industry. We have to be careful to not get caught up with trying to protect one right by taking away another, trading in copyright for censorship.