Alicia Keys and Dave Chappelle Are Coming for Your Phones

More and more performers are locking up fans' phones during shows
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2016 12:56 PM CDT
Alicia Keys and Dave Chappelle Are Coming for Your Phones
Alicia Keys performs in Italy last month.   (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

While some fret about the government coming to take their guns, an increasing number of musicians and comedians are coming for your cellphones. The Washington Post reports Dave Chappelle, Louis CK, the Lumineers, Alicia Keys, Chris Rock, and Guns N' Roses are among the artists using a new device called Yondr to separate fans from their phones during performances. Yondr is a small pouch for your phone that is locked by venue staff. You can carry it with you, but your phone is unusable for the duration of the show. “If you haven’t been to a phone-free show, you just don’t know what you’re missing,” Yondr founder Graham Dugoni says. “There’s something about living in real life that can’t be replicated.” At least one California high school is even using the pouches, according to CBS News.

Artists are not only worried about phones ruining the experience—Chappelle tells CBS people are "vastly more fun" to perform for when they aren't on their phones—but about their work being immediately posted to YouTube and Instagram. “We don’t want the first time you ever hear a song to be some [lousy] MP3 somebody captured on their phone,” Keys’ manager tells the Post. While many fans are understanding, not everyone is willing to go without their phone for a few hours. "My phone is how I keep my memory," one man waiting in line to see Keys says. "If you don’t want your music heard, then don’t perform it.” Today reports that others worry—in the wake of mass shootings—about the risk if fans don't have immediate access to their phones in an emergency. (This Paris attack survivor credits his phone with saving his life.)

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