Alicia Keys has officially banned all cell phone use at her concerts. According to Refinery29, all concert attendees will be required to put their devices inside a Yondr case while the show is live.
Yondr cases turn any venue into a phone-free zone. The only way to open the case is to tap it on a metal disk, ensuring users can only access their messages in the venue lobby.
Yondr's website described the cases in greater detail:
“Smartphones have fundamentally changed how we live. How to integrate them into our lives as a useful tool, rather than a compulsive habit, is a question that needs an answer. 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.”
It's hard to enjoy the music when you're looking at the stage through a phone camera – but that is exactly what's happening. Smartphones and their cameras are becoming more and more advanced, furthering the amount of time concert-goers spend trying to record the spectacle instead of enjoying the moment.
Alicia Keys and other artists have had enough. Adele even singled an audience member out at one of her concerts last month, telling her to "put away her camera and tripod, urging her to enjoy the music live instead."
This is not the first time an event or artist has banned electronics, though. Game of Thrones fans may remember The Epic Fan Experience at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, where anyone with a ticket was told to leave their devices at home or temporarily turn them over at the "phone check" tents.
It is still unclear how Alicia Keys plans to enforce this new policy at every single concert going forward. But where there is a will, there is a way.
Unplug, relax, and enjoy the music.