LeahZarzour, News Editor
Music festivals have the stand out quality that has made it more popular than ever by promoting popular performers and drawing in people of different backgrounds. Festivals provide a plethora of new and exciting concerts at once—making it easier than ever to experience different genres of music. However music may not always be the reason people attend these events.
Social media users, especially on Instagram, tend to use these festivals as the ideal photo-taking backdrop. Some festival-goers might even see “selfies” being taken during a show. People are concerned about whether or not they have the best photos to post to prove they really had the festival experience. However, this entirely contradicts to the real value of concerts—the music. Imagine standing front row screaming the lyrics in front of your favorite artist, but with your phone right in your face. With a sea of screens, artists cannot make that personal connection that they try to evoke with their audience
Social media is not the only reason why flashing phones are constantly in the air during a concert—it’s all about the moment—or at least taking the moment. People care more about the pictures and videos of their favorite performers that they miss the real-life moments. Why look through the tiny screens of your smartphone when you can look at what’s actually happening in front of your eyes. This argument can best be portrayed though performers: The Lumineers, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, and Jack White.
White is a passionate advocator of experiencing concerts first hand. As he once explained on an interview with Conan in 2014, during his previous tour, he asked the audience to put their phones and cameras away in order to truly immerse themselves into the music and enjoy the acoustics around them. In fact, White has tried to play with the reactiveness of his audience. Instead of using a set list during his concerts, he performed certain songs that matched the energy of the crowd. Though some well-known artists think this would hurt their fan base, this created a unique connection that has become difficult to experience during festivals or concerts today.
Constantly taking videos can take away the intimacy that live performances try to enhance. It loses the connection that many people crave yet dismiss because they are too busy trapping the moment on their devices.