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Electronic Distractions at Shows

DebC 21 Sep 11 - 01:01 PM
Jack Campin 21 Sep 11 - 01:26 PM
Richard Bridge 21 Sep 11 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,999 21 Sep 11 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,999 21 Sep 11 - 01:54 PM
DebC 21 Sep 11 - 02:06 PM
Will Fly 21 Sep 11 - 02:18 PM
Leadfingers 21 Sep 11 - 02:43 PM
Jim Dixon 21 Sep 11 - 03:52 PM
DebC 21 Sep 11 - 04:08 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 21 Sep 11 - 04:22 PM
Crowhugger 21 Sep 11 - 04:46 PM
Jim Dixon 21 Sep 11 - 04:50 PM
DebC 21 Sep 11 - 05:39 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Sep 11 - 12:17 AM
DebC 26 Sep 11 - 01:04 PM
Mo the caller 27 Sep 11 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Sep 11 - 10:30 AM
Bonzo3legs 27 Sep 11 - 10:41 AM
JohnDun 27 Sep 11 - 11:07 AM
GUEST,999 27 Sep 11 - 11:24 AM
Bonzo3legs 27 Sep 11 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,999 27 Sep 11 - 11:59 AM
Bonzo3legs 27 Sep 11 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,999 27 Sep 11 - 04:04 PM
Greg B 27 Sep 11 - 04:12 PM
CupOfTea 27 Sep 11 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Sep 11 - 01:40 PM
Tootler 28 Sep 11 - 02:47 PM
Bonzo3legs 28 Sep 11 - 03:44 PM
JHW 28 Sep 11 - 03:57 PM
Bonzo3legs 28 Sep 11 - 04:24 PM
oggie 28 Sep 11 - 05:19 PM
Jim Dixon 28 Sep 11 - 07:53 PM
Bonzo3legs 29 Sep 11 - 02:35 AM
Bonzo3legs 29 Sep 11 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,leeneia 29 Sep 11 - 04:00 PM
Greg B 29 Sep 11 - 04:15 PM
Tootler 29 Sep 11 - 04:37 PM
DebC 29 Sep 11 - 05:02 PM
Surreysinger 29 Sep 11 - 05:32 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 29 Sep 11 - 05:48 PM
MGM·Lion 29 Sep 11 - 05:56 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Sep 11 - 10:27 AM
Bonzo3legs 30 Sep 11 - 10:39 AM
Tootler 30 Sep 11 - 06:04 PM
Jack Campin 04 Oct 11 - 07:39 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Oct 11 - 03:45 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Oct 11 - 03:49 PM
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Subject: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: DebC
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 01:01 PM

This came up on a list I am on. The is a fairly large venue (350 or so seats) in the USA, but I know this is not an isolated incident. I didn't see any reason to leave out the performer's name as that isn't the main point. Here is the story:

"This weekend, we presented Jorma Kaukonen, who of course was
phenomenal and a true pleasure to work with. Jorma was particularly adamant that there should be no recording of his performance (which is our house rule anyway). So, I asked the audience, out of respect for the performer, not to video him. And, one of our staff kept vigil to politely enforce the rule. The result? Within a few minutes, the concert resembled a giddy alumni meeting of the NYU Film School, with dozens of audience members holding up their cell phones to record the performance. Between people texting, people taking photographs (which we allow without flash), and people making videos, the place was lit up like a shimmering sea of ectoplasm. We spent the entire night policing our own audience. I hated having to do that."

He then went on to propose some possible solutions.

Thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 01:26 PM

Put the stage in the dark and floodlight the auditorium?


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 01:30 PM

If I were the performer (fat chance of 350 people wanting to hear me) and I had made that request, I would have stopped until all phones were handed in!

It is wise to prepare terms and conditions of tickets to cover such eventualities. If the Spice Girls could do it, why not folkies?


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: GUEST,999
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 01:30 PM

Was walking off the stage possible?


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: GUEST,999
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 01:54 PM

Cross posted, Richard.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: DebC
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 02:06 PM

Jorma is a pretty high level performer here and I am pretty sure that his contract has a no-recording clause in it. It's also possible that he might have been un-aware. This is a venue with lights, sound, etc and I know as an artist when I am on stage in a venue such as this, seeing what is happening in the audience is not something I am focused on.

This is more about what the organiser can do to prevent this rather than the performer.

Deb


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 02:18 PM

Frankly, unless you search each member of the audience thoroughly and/or keep a squad of security people on constant audience vigil and scrutiny all through the performance, there's very little you can do about it. The world has moved on in a very sophisticated way, and you can either kick against it or go with it. I'm not applauding this, by the way - just commenting on the state of affairs.

I can fire up Spotify (CD streaming service in Europe), select the track or album I want to keep, fire up Audio-Hijack software, and record the tracks while playing. I can then process the .wav file with Audacity, create tracks to go into iTunes, cut a CD. I do actually choose to pay for the music I listen to, but the opportunity to rip it all off is ever present.

I think it was the Grateful Dead who actually set up individual recording booths at the back of the auditoria in their tours - and encouraged people to create bootlegs of their live performances. But they had a totally different attitude to the music...


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 02:43 PM

There is NO way that I would record (either aidio OR video) an artist with out asking permission first . And the same would go for still photo as well .
And IF I was permitted to do a Video I would send the artist a copy as a matter of courtesy .


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 03:52 PM

I'd be interested to know what "policing the audience" consists of. Do you just ask them to stop? Do you confiscate their cell phones? Do you ask them to leave? How do people react when you personally confront them?

I would hate having to do that, too, but something must be done.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: DebC
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 04:08 PM

Great questions, Jim.

I know that in the past if I have been in an audience and the person next to me is pre-occupied with their phone while the music is happening, I have said something and the person has put away their device and apologised. I do think peer pressure works.

As Will said above, folks can do all sorts of music stuff online. Great. Go for it. Spotify, YouTube, Pandora to your heart's content, but if that's what you prefer, keep yourself and your cellphone home. If one chooses to attend a live music event and if you have to have your cell phone with you, keep it put away until you are out of the venue.

Deb


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 04:22 PM

There is no easy answer. If it is a paying venue then perhaps the performer would have received more from the door receipts than he would have gotten from royalties on a cd. If he is selling his stuff directly to the audience and he ticks them off it may hurt his chances of selling stuff as well. With a cell phone it is almost impossible to police if still photos are allowed.
Perhaps ban all photos and recording during the performance, but have the artist available to meet and greet his fans with video and photography encouraged during an intermission or after a performance. One thing a performer should never do is forget that those people are his fans and without them he or she would have no reason or purpose to be there. There is a tightrope that must be walked!


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Crowhugger
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 04:46 PM

Most venues at the 350-seat size already do have a no-recording policy, usually clearly posted in the lobby. The point already made to be clear about terms of ticket sales is a good one, i.e. try to minimize the expectation that recording may freely be done. Sometimes there is an announcement at the beginning to remind people not to record (or take pictures if applicable. However that doesn't stop some people recording with their phones, or simply using their phones to talk or text surf during a performance, which is more distraction to audience than performers on a lighted stage.

If one is going to do something so blatantly illegal it amazes me they don't set their screen to the dimmest possible setting to avoid attracting attention. Peer pressure only works for behaviour that is generally agreed by society to be immoral. Apparently theft of music is not in that category.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 04:50 PM

Regardless of whether the policy is a wise one—

Both the venue and the performer absolutely have the right to forbid the use of cameras as a condition of performing or selling a ticket. To disregard such a condition after it has been clearly stated is an act of extreme rudeness as well as theft.

The original message said "the place was lit up like a shimmering sea of ectoplasm." As an audience member I would consider that rude and annoying even if no conditions had been stated.

If the performer is anxious about ticking the audience off, he should consider that if nothing is done, the audience members will be ticking each other off, and that too will have an effect on selling stuff (especially tickets for future performances).

I wouldn't blame a performer for not wanting to say anything directly to the audience. He should inform the venue staff of his concerns and let the staff police the audience. That's their job.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: DebC
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 05:39 PM

As a performer, I'm not that concerned about sales. I care much more about the audience's experience. If that experience is disrupted by rude and inconsiderate people videoing, texting, etc then I think it's the venue's responsibility to do something about it.

Seems to me that if an audience member persists in behaviour that is against the rules (couldn't think of a better word) and the rule was stated before the performer took the stage, that audience member should be asked to leave the concert and not receive a refund.

Just my two cents.

Deb


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 12:17 AM

I don't know whether this applies to Jorma Kaukonen, but I'm sure there are some performers for whom any distraction can be so unnerving that it might adversely affect the quality of the performance.

Some very good performers are susceptible to stage fright. Mitch Hedberg, Stephen Fry, and Van Morrison come to mind. I've heard that Roy Orbison wore dark glasses because it made it less apparent that he needed to avoid making eye-contact with the audience. Hedberg wore them for the same reason.

A performer's desire to be free of unnecessary distractions should be taken very seriously.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: DebC
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 01:04 PM

Update: This in from the presenter who I described in the original post:

"We presented David Bromberg last night. Before introducing him, I announced that our concert series was now a "No Glow Zone": No taping, no photos, no texting, no glowing devices of any kind. I waited for either catcalls or stunned silence. Instead, the audience applauded loudly. There was nary a glowing screen the entire evening. Several audience members privately thanked me. Nice."

Looks like it worked.

Deb


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Mo the caller
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 10:12 AM

Not the same as a stage performance but....
at a workshop in Whitby John Kirkpatrick agreed that people could record for their own use. But said that if they posted it on Utube he'd come and burn their house down.
Quite a few videos of him on utube, but I can't see the workshop.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 10:30 AM

I used to work for a man who had a very helpful and effective technique. When I was doing something wrong, he would say, "I need you to..." and then he would say what was the right thing to do.

In this case, the performer should stop dead in the middle of a song, look at the perps and say "I need you to stop recording this concert."

For one thing, the performer has authority that nobody else has. For another, the social pressure on a person who has caused the whole show to slam to a stop is tremendous. I think it's well worth trying.

(I know a priest who stops talking when a baby cries. Usually a baby cries for only a few seconds, and nobody minds. But if the baby fussed and fussed, the cessations would soon drive the most pig-headed parent to remove the kid.)

By the way, somebody said this behavior is illegal, but is it?


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 10:41 AM

An audience pays for a concert and so the performance belongs to them.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: JohnDun
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 11:07 AM

You're right Bonzo, but copies and recording don't


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 11:24 AM

Bonzo, indeed that performance DOES belong to the audience. BUT, audiences don't pay residuals, and there's the rub. You are suggesting that because someone buys a single bus ticket they should then be able to use that ticket over and over again for time eternal. Try that one out on your local mass transit system, and let us know how it works out, svp.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 11:53 AM

Not the same thing at all. The fact is the recordings exist and will continue to exist, are shared - which hopefully prevents bootleggers selling them.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 11:59 AM

As long as ya get written permission from the performer--and s/he has written permission from the songwriters, I would suppose there'd be no problem.

And with regard to "The fact is the recordings exist and will continue to exist, are shared - which hopefully prevents bootleggers selling them.": I don't see any percentage in that. Suppose the songs are yours, ok? You are then being offered the right to get ripped off by a person of your choice or a person NOT of your choice. Me, I see no difference, pragmatically speaking.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 01:14 PM

Well, I'll agree to disagree.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 04:04 PM

Sounds good, B.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Greg B
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 04:12 PM

This notion that the audience somehow has "rights" to take the music home in their phones is really quite odd. Your ticket buys you the "right" to sit (or stand as the case may be) politely, listen to the music, applaud, sing along, or show approval in other socially acceptable ways where appropriate, and not a damned thing else. By one guy's logic, if they make a live album out of a performance where I was in the audience, I'm entitled to a free copy.

Recording in spite of a "no recording" policy is right up there with heckling the performer.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: CupOfTea
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 05:53 PM

Deb,

I love the concept of the "No Glow Zone." That such a small proportion of the audience can spoil the mood/experience with electronic gizmos is a sad example of how the popular culture attitudes of entitlement ("if *I* do it it must be OK") seep into the folk world.

I've been at shows where I've found the glow of people's phone recording it very distracting. That distraction became teeth grinding anger as it went on and on. It definitely cut into my ability to enjoy what was, for me a high price ticket concert. (Bela Fleck & the Flecktones with Howard Levy). In this instance, one of the worst offenders was a volunteer usher who felt entitled to go up to the front of the aisle to record.

I've also wondered what could be done to prevent this, and my fancy turned to a performe sayingr:
"Ok, our first number is an audience participation event. Will everyone hold up their cellphones? Great.. look at all that light, wow... now all together, everyone hit the OFF button, and let's see whose phone takes the longest to shut down..."

I've heard grand stories of performers in smaller venues making off with audience members' cell phones in mid-transgression. But mostly, if there are no consequences for those who ignore a policy of no electronic devices, it's not likely to stop. Ejection, confiscation of cellphone until the end of the concert, harsh but these are the years when we create new customs and mores for how we behave with gizmos as a near constant presence. Strong action now is needed.


Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 01:40 PM

The 'no glow' idea and Joanne's idea are both good ones.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Tootler
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 02:47 PM

If no recording, no photos etc. is house and/or performer policy then it seems quite simple to me. You don't do it.

It also seems to me a simple courtesy to either turn off your mobile phone or, at least set it to silent. Most phones have a vibrate function so if you have to have it on you're not going to disturb anyone if the phone goes off.

When my wife was on the transplant list we had to have phones on 24/7 as a kidney could have come available any time, but it was kept on silent with vibrate on so if it went off, you knew.

Also if you forget to turn it off, (and who doesn't at some time?) people need to learn that, except in exceptional circumstances, you don't have to answer it. Just press the off button and send a busy message to the caller. Some people seem incapable of appreciating that and it's most annoying.

At the end of the day it's all a matter of courtesy and respect for others.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 03:44 PM

Absolutely.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: JHW
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 03:57 PM

I've posted elsewhere my experience at the Edinburgh Fireworks Concert. Outdoor do, quarter million folks on the street watching free (on the street) enormous fireworks show in sync with Scottish Chamber Orchestra with massive PA. Yet the glowers managed to spoil it with a sea of screens between me and the show and a continuous press style flicker of flash guns. Not been since.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 04:24 PM

That's the way things are now.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: oggie
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 05:19 PM

Go to a classical concert and it isn't that way.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 07:53 PM

Regarding whether the performance "belongs to" the audience:

A ticket represents a contract between the venue and the audience member.

Where there is no "meeting of the minds" there is no contract.

If the seller thinks he is selling one thing and the buyer thinks he is buying something else, then there is no meeting of the minds, and so no contract.

If the venue intends to sell only the right to view and listen to the performance, but the audience member thinks he is buying the right to make a recording, then there is no meeting of the minds, and so no contract; nothing has really been sold.

If there has been an honest misunderstanding, the way you make things right is for the venue to give the audience member his money back and for the audience member to leave the premises, taking nothing away with him (especially not a recording).


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 02:35 AM

Oh well, I'd better delete the hideous Peter Bellamy cassettes I have, now which recycling box do they go in?????????


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 01:59 PM

Ane while I'm at it I'll recycle the cassettes of shows by all the other bleating sheep folk singers too!!!


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 04:00 PM

Remember when people smoked cigarettes everywhere, even at the dinner table with their little kids present? Then others began to object, and they were considered strange and fussbudgety. Yet they persevered, and now (at least where I live) nobody smokes in restaurants, house guests step outside to smoke, and we don't smoke near children.

We have to do the same thing with devices that blink, flash and sparkle. The kids need to learn that they bother people, enough people that using them in public is not acceptable.

The best way to get that message across is to have the performers announce and enforce it. The performer has prestige and attention-getting power that nobody else has.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Greg B
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 04:15 PM

I'll give you that, Leeneia. At the same time, there are places where people can take their "No Cell Phones" signs straight to hell with them. Such as doctor's and other professional's waiting rooms. If you're keeping me waiting, you don't get to tell me what I do with the time that you are wasting. Oh, if it vibrates, and I choose to answer, I'll probably go outside as much for my privacy as anything else. But just because you've decided "cell phones off" doesn't mean that your customers have to comply.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Tootler
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 04:37 PM

No Greg, they are totally in order to have a "no mobile phone" sign in the waiting room.

If you answer your phone in the Doctor's waiting room you annoy others who are also waiting. It's extremely annoying when sitting, waiting for your turn and someone's phone goes off and they proceed to have a long, loud, boring (to others) conversation.

You go out so as not to annoy others in the waiting room.

As I said in my earlier post it's about courtesy and consideration for others.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: DebC
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 05:02 PM

There might be other reasons for not allowing cell phones in places and they might have to do with "noise floor". I don't know about doctor's offices, but this came up on another forum regarding why one has to turn off all electronic devices in an airplane during landing and take-off and it had to do with noise floor.

There is a "no cell phone" sign in my dentist's office. I never asked the reason assuming it was for courtesy and respect, but after reading about noise floor, I wonder if it has something to do with all the machines they use. I am really starting to wonder about all these wireless devices that permeate our society these days.

Deb


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Surreysinger
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 05:32 PM

Patients are asked to turn their phones off at my physiotherapists because they can potentially interfere with equipment, and could cause very big problems.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 05:48 PM

"an audience pays for a concert and so the performance belongs to them."

And they get the performance,but they do not get the rights to record it for posterity or any other reason without permission.   

You can pay for a ride in a cab, but you don't own the vehicle.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 05:56 PM

···"an audience pays for a concert and so the performance belongs to them."···

An odd misapprehension here, surely: it belongs to the audience as a whole; including those who would rather hear it without otiose & intrusive distractions, whose needs are at least as important as those who think their 'ownership' entitles them to behave in fashions which take no account of the preferences or needs of fellow audience members.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 10:27 AM

Pay attention, Greg. My post was not about talking on a cell phone, it was about the problem of devices flashing and blinking in a concert setting.

Last year I tried to enjoy a concert where so many people were using electronic devices (all of them blinking at different colors and rates) that I finally walked out.

When I walked out the door, an usher said "I don't blame you."


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 10:39 AM

I cover any blinking lights on my camera with gaffa tape. I agree that waving of mobile phones is a nuisance, but then so many people are obsessed with them.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Tootler
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 06:04 PM

Slightly OT but not irrelevant. An item on the (UK) TV news tonight. A recent survey found that almost 1/3 of motorists sent text messages or surfed the internet on their mobile phones while driving. Not only stupid but B----y dangerous.

I'm pretty sure it'll the same people who carry on loud conversations in waiting rooms and wave their phone cameras about at concerts.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 07:39 PM

http://gladallover.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/bassoon.jpg


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 03:45 PM

diabolical, Jack, diabolical.


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Subject: RE: Electronic Distractions at Shows
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 03:49 PM

It seems to me that one way to interfere with amateur recordings is to keep the stage as dark as possible.   Certainly, the conventional set-up, where the stage is extremely bright and the audience is in the dark, is just right for recording.

Obviously the stage can't be completely dark, but it could be the same light level as the rest of the room. I've been to folk concerts lighted both ways, and I prefer the latter. It's more relaxed, more like friends sharing music and less like stars on stage.


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