Being Stuck Outside with a Cellphone (with the Millennial Blues Again) | Local news | bending | The Source Weekly

A great concert in the modern era contains all the bells and whistles: thumping sound, an incredible light display, nostalgic fans … and a sea of ​​bluish screens, all placed on the artist to amateurishly document the entire scene and spread it on social media. But a folk legend is among a growing number of performers to hold back the tide and announce a “phone-free” experience at his shows.

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BRANTLEY GILBERT

When Bob Dylan plays at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater on June 27, he will be the first artist at that venue to require a phone-free environment. Instead of tiptoeing over the sea of ​​blue phones, attendees will see those phones tucked away in cases designed to help people hear back to the old days when they had to find a pay phone (and maybe had to wait in line) to call the nanny.

Once upon a time, before the word “selfie” was a thing, this was just the way it was.

Millennials and Gen Zers, your friends of older generations assure you you will get through this.

How it works

The entry process at Hayden Homes Amphitheater is already a few hoops: scan your ticket (yes, from your cell phone), have your (clear plastic-only) bag searched, wander around with a metal detector. For this show, there’s the extra step of grabbing a storage pouch from Yondr, the company hired by Dylan’s team to provide phone storage.

Having a sea of ​​phones at a live show “bleeds the energy out of a room,” Yondr’s founder Graham Dugoni told CNN Business in 2020.

At a show or other event hosted by Yondr, attendees insert a phone into the pouch and close it, locking the pouch until it is swung over an unlocking device at the exit. Contestants who need to take care of their phone business during the show will have a designated area to unlock it and do their thing before returning to the show.

This is the first time the amphitheater has enacted this type of policy at the request of an artist, the team is still working on the details of where the telephone area will be located and how large the area will be, said Beau Eastes, marketing director for the Old Mill District and the Hayden Homes Amphitheater. Still, the process is quite simple and does not involve any complicated form of coat control.

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“When you leave the room, you unlock it and give that bag back,” Eastes told the Source. “Your phone stays on – you have your phone in your possession all the time.”

But while it’s new to Bend, it’s been a growing trend over the past decade, especially for major performers in the comedy and music scenes.

“This is something that will be new to us, but The Lumineers have done this. Lots of comedy acts – Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock have done this before. Donald Glover performing like Childish Gambino has on his shows,” Eastes said. Weddings are another place where a phone-less experience is a trend in 2022. It seems like a growing number of people are waking up to the realization that to be present in the moment you might need to check out that thing that rings, whistles and is different. designed to divert attention from anything other than the glowing screen.

Yondr, the phone pouch provider, sees it as a ‘refuge’. Yondr’s founder started the company in 2014, when he would make the pouches himself and take them to shows and even schools. The unique idea eventually caught the attention of entertainers, including Chappelle, who became one of the investors, according to CNN Business.

“In our hyper-connected world, we provide a haven to communicate with what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. In physical space and real time,” reads a description on Yondr’s website.

“Like seeing a show in the 90s”

From the perspective of the concertgoer it can take some getting used to.

Ashley, a music lover in Bend who wished to remain anonymous, said she attended a Jack White show without phones in Portland in 2018 and appreciated the ability to be more present with the music. Her only complaint, she said, was the inability to link to SoundHound during the show to identify some of the songs in the pre-show entertainment that she wanted to remember later. In an announcement ahead of his 2018 tour, White told reporters he wanted fans to enjoy a “100% human experience.”

While Bob Dylan’s representatives did not respond to our request for comment, Dylan himself took a stance on people’s phones at a show in Vienna, Austria, in 2019, saying, “Take pictures or don’t take pictures. We can play or pose. OK?”, as reported in Stereogum, Dylan then reportedly left the concert.

The bigger the artist, the more likely they are to have such a policy. For example, if you’re Beyoncé or Prince, you hardly need more publicity by people sharing your show on social media. Beyoncé has reportedly admonished fans lightly for “taping” during her shows rather than watching the action. The late Grand Prince started implementing a no-phones policy as early as 2013. Alicia Keys, who has used Yondr pouches on her shows, said you had to be famous yourself — someone like Queen Latifah — for the rules, according to a story in The Washington Post. And Bruno Mars, the funky R&B star, encouraged fans to dance and enjoy the show “like they used to.”

The 1990s are apparently those “old days”.

“One of our production people attended a show somewhere else, and he said it was like watching a show in the ’90s,” Hayden Homes’ Eastes said. “I think it’s going to be pretty cool. I hope people don’t mind it. I hope they give it a chance.”

That may be a less appealing prospect to anyone who didn’t even live in the ’90s, but when it comes to the June 27th performer on stage who has been pulling out some of the most iconic music tracks since the ’60s, it’s his show, and he has earned the credit for making such a policy.

You have this.

According to information from Statista, in 2020 there were about 280.54 million smartphone users in the United States, making the US the 4e-highest country for smartphone “population penetration”, which covers 79.10% of the people. (The US is lagging behind the UK, United Arab Emirates and Mexico in this regard.) So we know the policy will surprise some.

What are you going to do without that appendage that dents, whistles, vibrates, or otherwise makes you look at his face every few minutes? I don’t know, I think I’m listening to music.

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