‘Civilian journalism’ in concerts

Who needs stage lighting when you have a sea of cellphones illuminating everything?
Who needs stage lighting when you have a sea of cellphones illuminating everything?

This is my pet peeve at concerts. You pay somewhere in the region of $100 to see your favourite artist, only to have your view obstructed by these guys filming the entire set; after which they realize that their phone’s microphone made the whole thing sound like Chewbacca with a throat infection and end up posting 15 seconds of it to Instagram anyway. Just enjoy the concert boise.



13 thoughts on “‘Civilian journalism’ in concerts

  1. Rant away, I found this to be so true, as a matter of fact I purposely did not bring my phone with me when I last went and saw a gig, mainly because it allowed myself to engage so much more with the set. Also you realise just how many people are selfish enough to not realise their phones are in the way. As an example I went and saw City and Colour last year, and they actually encouraged that the phones go away, and to engage in the music, not the watch the concert through a screen. Myf Warhurst has also written a piece on ‘selfie sticks’ having been banned from festivals. In a way though, she asks the questions of why is it really an issue, as we do watch a lot of life through screens… and in her words “We cope”. So is it really an issue?
    Interesting post topic.


    • I guess it’s kind of ironic that I own a selfie stick store and I’m complaining about this sort of thing but hey ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
      This Scumbag Steve was me at the first festival I went to; at least at festivals it’s less common for people to do this because it’s kinda hard to make your phone battery last for 9 hours or so when you’re filming everything 😛
      Starting to see a growing trend of GoPros at festivals, which is a little better because at least they take decent footage and are less obtrusive without a bright glowing screen ahha

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yep, there always is a Scumbag Steve of some sort at a concert, and the ‘video the whole concert so I get mad internet cred’ ones are the worst. How could anyone pay money just to be looking into their phone screen for an entire show. At Chet Faker last year he stopped the gig entirely and told people to not be assholes, put their phones away and enjoy. Didn’t stop some people though. Great Post, Well Meme’d my friend!


  3. Such an accurate meme! It’s so annoying but at the same time I think that the majority of us were guilty of it at some point, not necessarily filming the whole set but at least snapping a pic or two. It makes me pretty sad to think that we might never have the engagement and experience that they would have had say 10-20 years ago. I think a tiny bit more text tying this issue in with citizen journalism would have rounded it out but overall great blog post!


  4. Oh my god you have hit the nail right on the head with this post! I was at an Ed Sheeran concert a few months ago and was surrounded by cellphones in my face and bright flashes, all i wanted to do was watch a great performance. Do you think this whole obsession with recording things could be because of the importance that people associate with their public persona and image (reference to week 10 lecture woohoo), and the fact that other people need to know how cool you are for going to concerts is more important than the concert itself?

    Food for thought,


  5. This is an interesting idea. As of late, I have been to about 3 concerts of bands that I have waited for months to see. Mid recording the set they were playing this thought came to my mind. Why is it that I somehow distance myself from an experience and band that I paid so much money and had so much anticipation to see, by doing something I could do behind my computer. Funny though, because even through intellectually I knew this was a futile practice, I continued recording the concert. Interesting too that not once have I rewatched the recordings, makes you wonder what is so inherent in us humans that we fear forgetting or only experiencing something once and how technology has impact that.

    P.s you’d hate me, I’m probably that person standing in front of you with the iPhone 6 + blocking your view. Soz


  6. I love that you’ve likened it to “civilian journalism” because really, who are they recording these sets for? Themselves later, insta cred, to show their friends? If, say, somebody was writing a review on their blog about the concert then I don’t think I’d mind if they had their phone stuck in their hand BUT if they’re just posting garbled 8 second clips to instagram every few minutes then I would grab their phone and smash it into the grass. It is a MASSIVE pet peeve of mine, I prefer phones in your pocket and maybe just a couple of sneaky photos at the start to remember it by. http://www.digitaltrends.com/photography/7-musicians-who-would-like-you-to-put-away-the-camera-or-else-theyll-do-it-for-you/ These musos feel the same way as us, horrah!

    Also your likening to Chewbacca made me lol, well played.


  7. Nice meme! (https://niceme.me/)
    I absolutely agree that recording concerts on your phone is a rather crude version of citizen journalism. You’re getting the news out to all your friends or followers on social platforms (or both) that you went to see an artists perform and you were ‘this’ close to him!
    However this really does reinforce the point of citizen journalism having no quality filter. And theres literally no cost of entry (unless the concert explicitly states you can’t record within the event) so anyone can have a go.
    Very nice use of Scumbag Steve and an absolutely awesome short, succinct and straightforward blog post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I cannot agree with this enough! I recently went to Groovin the moo and the amount of people who don’t even enjoy the concert and are to focused on taking photos and videos is beyond me. I feel like we need citizen journalism as a society but i never looked at the ‘quality filter’ that you mentioned which i feel like is a really interesting concept that im going to try and incorporate into my blog now. Only thing i would do differently is explain citizen journalism in depth a little more but besides that i think this post is spot on. thank you!


  9. One of my biggest pet peeves! Such a great choice of topic for that week and something everyone can relate to as shown by the masses of comments above, perfect example of ways that ‘citizen journalism’ can actually have a negative affect on people around them! Went to Chet Faker same as @iamconoroleary and was great to see most people put away their phones and just focus on enjoying the performance and atmosphere but sadly there are always the few that won’t! Great engaging post for the week, well done!


  10. I know everyone else has also said this but OMG THIS IS ONE OF MY PET PEEVES TOO!!!!!!!! haha
    Your post for this topic is awesome in the fact that it brings light to the concept of citizen journalism and shows that it’s not always just purely based on current events/disasters/accidents that occur. Perhaps you could have explored the implications of this issue a little more and how this affects the role of people who already document gigs as their profession and whether or not they’ll be needed in the future. Great post though and hit the nail right on the head!


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