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LONDON
United Kingdom

Journal

No iPhones please

Fenby Miskin

Kate Bush has asked fans not to take photos of her forthcoming shows on camera phones or iPads, saying she wants the experience to be “intimate”.

The singer will begin a series of comeback gigs next week at the Hammersmith Apollo, marking her first tour in 35 years.

Fans who have managed to secure a ticket may want to record the moment for posterity, but Bush has appealed to them not to wave phones or tablets in the air.

In a message on her website she wrote: “We’re all very excited about the upcoming shows and are working very hard in preparation. It’s going very well indeed.

“I have a request for all of you who are coming to the shows: we have purposefully chosen an intimate theatre setting rather than a large venue or stadium. It would mean a great deal to me if you would please refrain from taking photos or filming during the shows.

“I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iPhones, iPads or cameras. I know it’s a lot to ask but it would allow us to all share in the experience together.

“Looking forward to seeing you there. Respectfully yours, Kate.”

Bush is not the first performer to object to the use of camera phones at concerts. Prince recently took things a step further, with signs at his gigs warning that photography was “strictly prohibited”. Anyone caught with a camera phone at one of his performances was ejected from the building.

New York trio the Yeah Yeah Yeahs posted a notice at one of their gigs telling fans: “Please do not watch the show through a screen on your smart device/camera. Put that s--- away as a courtesy to the person behind you and to Nick, Karen and Brian.”

UK band Savages have a more polite sign that reads: “Our goal is to discover better ways of living and experiencing music. We believe that the use of phones to film and take pictures during a gig prevents all of us from totally immersing ourselves. Let’s make this evening special.”

While Beyonce has not banned fans from taking pictures, she did exclude professional photographers from her last tour after “unflattering” shots of her appeared online. Publications wishing to feature her image were directed to a handful of authorised pictures taken by an approved photographer.

Roger Daltrey of The Who recently expressed his frustration at fans who insist on digitally capturing a performance. “I feel sorry for them. Living a life through a screen, not being in the moment totally. I find it weird. They’re all mad,” he said.

But his bandmate, Pete Townshend, argued that allowing fans to take photos and video was a good marketing tool. “I’m for it, really,” he said. “All of these people you could say are doing a job by taking that footage and sharing it. We used to have to pay people to produce stuff for us.”