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Friday, Feb. 2, 2018|2 a.m.
. We dislike them; we are them. It’s the paradox of public versus private good. Nobody wishes to back up the person using their phone at a show, but everyone wants to use their phones at concerts. One day we’ll discover good manners. But in the meantime, a company called Yondr has actually created a “trademarked system to develop phone-free areas.”
Upon getting in the “phone-free area,” you put your phone in a self-locking pouch, which lets you keep your phone on your individual, albeit reduced the effects of. When the program is over or whenever you require a break from unmediated life, you can go to the lobby and “tap” the “unlocking base.” Reviews on the site include comic Dave Chappelle, rapper Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) and Las Vegas’ Sierra Vista High School Principal John Anzalone.
Persnickety rock star Jack White has made headlines using Yondr to institute a phone restriction on his upcoming tour, which concludes with an Aug. 23 stop at the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan. The program is offered out, however that will not stop the debate over whether phone-free shows are a blessing or curse.
When the Cosmopolitan posted the phone-free show statement on its Facebook page on Jan. 26, fans reacted: “If you do not feel comfortable going to a show due to the fact that you can’t have your phone then do not go,” David McQuiston composed. He attended December’s Misfits show at MGM Grand Garden Arena, which had the exact same phone policy. McQuiston left his phone in the cars and truck and had an “incredible performance experience.”
Publishing on the exact same comment thread, Sonia Verde called the pouches “hazardous and dumb.” She pointed out the Path 91 shooting and the subsequent restored focus on show security.
Her point rings true: If the unthinkable were to take place, would you wish to be locked out of your phone? Or, on a fundamental level, are we as a society OK letting others control access to our personal property? Should we have to select between cutting off our psychic arm or skipping a desirable show?
The last time White played Vegas (February 2015 at Brooklyn Bowl), he merely shamed the audience into keeping their phones stashed. He lets people “get it out of their system’ by taking images and videos during the first tune then by providing free live images of all his shows on his site. Both the carrot and the stick worked, and it let people keep their phones without keeping their phones out.
This story originally appeared in the Las Vegas Weekly.