A new company called Yondr is turning concerts into “no-phone zones.”
Yondr is a company that works with artists in bringing what they call “no-phone zones” to their performances. We can all agree that new technologies is almost always a good thing. If we look at the world around us, our high powered laptops and speedy internet is making us more efficient than ever. But it’s when people become too reliant on their devices that certain problems arise. In recent years, it’s become an ever more common occurrence–in fact, studies show that the average American checks his or her phone 74 times a day.
Many artists have voiced their disapproval of cell phones at their shows, claiming its disruptive usage is not conducive for an artistic setting. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Savages, and Jack White have all been vocal about their opinion, even straight up banning phones. Last year, comedian Dave Chappelle worked with Yondr for his show at Thalia Hall in Chicago. As The Vulture reports: “If you plan to see Chappelle perform at Chicago’s Thalia Hall this week, you will be required to place your phone in one of Yondr’s wireless-blocking phone pockets. The bags will then lock once once you enter the venue for the duration of the show.”
Yondr claims they are actually trying to help audiences enjoy the show better by freeing them of their technological distractions, if only for a few hours. Whether they are working at movies, concerts, or even parties, the company locks each attendee’s phone into a lightweight “sock-with-locks” that prevents them from accessing the device. Most recently, the supergroup Prophets of Rage, which consists of members from Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy, and Cypress Hill, has worked with Yondr for their “Be Here Now” campaign. The company’s personal mission statement reads:
“We think smartphones have incredible utility, but not in every setting. In some situations, they have become a distraction and a crutch—cutting people off from each other and their immediate surroundings. Yondr has a simple purpose: to show people how powerful a moment can be when we aren’t focused on documenting or broadcasting it”
While many fans are open-minded about this new approach to attending shows, some have also shown their agitation.
How much do you need your phone? Would you be willing to go see your favorite artists without Instagraming or texting your friends? Be sure to let us know in the comments.