Yes, you read the headline correctly, FLY Open Air Festival in Edinburgh, U.K. banned phones from their Boiler Room stage over the weekend, and urged festival-goers to take in the performance without the usual use of cell phones held in the air and of course, selfie mode.
The festival shipped over 8,000 special cases for the two-day festival, asking guests to store their treasured cellular devices in said cases, which then unlocked following the completion of the festival.
Even though it’s become the norm to go to a concert and constantly tell people how much you’re enjoying yourself via Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook live, the festival’s director Tom Ketley told Metro that a show can’t be truly enjoyed through the screen of a cellphone.
Ketley explained: “You would not go to the cinema and watch the film through your phone, so I don’t see how this is any different,” adding: “Dance music is becoming more popular within youth culture, and more and more young people are getting addicted to their phones.”
Now some may say that the festival was to controlling by asking people to give up their phones, but Ketley saw it as the only solution to what is becoming a growing problem.
He said: “We felt like there was no other way [to] do this other than take quite drastic action,” and added: “If you put stickers over people’s cameras, they just take them off.”
This was the United Kingdom’s first time for a festival phone ban, and as Ketley puts it, the ban isn’t just for phone users but those around them as well.
“When you’re out dancing, the last thing you want is a flashlight shined in your face,” he says. “I want people to live in the moment and enjoy the music.”