People, Stop Filming Concerts

The need to photograph and record everything around us is everywhere these days, but seems most prevalent (and annoying) at a concert where the experience is witnessed by hundreds, if not thousands of people.

There is nothing worse than paying through the nose for a ticket to see your favourite performer live and being subjected to a floating LCD screen in the middle of your view for the entire duration of the show. The phenomenon has become so common that technologies have been developed to specifically prevent people recording live performances, although they are only used in at a small fraction of live events. The prevalence of this kind of behaviour raises the question, why document a shared experience if it is no longer unique?


Please also stop filming vertically.

Friends, family and followers often enjoy a better view from Instagram than those of us standing behind the offender. This week Adele called out one ballsy fan for filming (allegedly complete with a tripod) one of her shows. She said: “Can you stop filming me with a video camera because I’m really here in real life. You can enjoy it in real life, rather than through your camera. Can you take your tripod down? This isn’t a DVD, this is a real show. I’d really like you to enjoy my show because there’s lots of people outside that couldn’t come in.”

Ironically, the moment was captured by someone else in the crowd recording on their phone.

Most venues will not allow you to bring a camera that has a detachable lens; although super zooms are sometimes permitted—Sony RX10 Mark III with the 600mm fixed lens anyone!

While we cannot verify the concert goer did infact have a tripod, if they did it raises two questions: What was the venue doing letting someone in with professional gear, and why did the person think it was an acceptable thing to do?


At the very least, if you’re shooting on a phone, the footage won’t be great, and really, unless you capture something like this moment with Adele, no one else will ever watch it. Let’s be honest, you probably won’t even watch it yourself. Psychologists even argue that by constantly having a camera rolling you won’t remember as much of the event, calling it the ‘photo-taking impairment effect’.

Despite this, at every concert I go to there are still plenty of people, even those standing right at the back of the venue, filming the show rather than living in the moment.

So if there’s a chance that we’ll actually remember less if we record the entire event, doing so infuriates anyone standing behind you and you or anyone else is unlikely to ever view the footage, why do we continue with this ridiculous behaviour? The next concert you’re at, put the camera away, open your eyes and enjoy the moment for what it is, not only for your sake, but for the sake of your fellow fans.