Should camera phones be banned from the rave?

Fabric recently launched their "stay in the moment" policy to restrict photography/filming

Personal filming in clubs has continued to divide opinions over the years and with the rise of social media apps designed around “capturing moments”, we’ve seen an increase in camera phone use at the rave. Some clubs have resorted to putting bans in place, with iconic raving establishments like Berlin venue Berghain famed for its no filming policy.

Last week, one of London’s leading underground dance music venues; Fabric announced a new “stay in the moment” policy that will stop visitors taking unauthorised photos or videos inside the club. The news follows the footsteps of Berlin clubs and some more closer to home such as Egg London, and Printworks who’s new ‘Redacted’ event concept will see ravers asked to refrain from filming. Instead of capturing it on video, attendees will be encouraged to live in the moment and enjoy the experience through your own eyes, rather than a screen.

Fabric’s new policy will come into effect when they plan to re-open their doors on July 23rd. The announcement has sparked debates among ravers, promoters and other venue operators with many supporting the decision. Could other clubs be considering taking this approach in the near future?

Speaking about the new policy, Fabric co-founder Cameron Leslie said:

“Fabric has always had a no camera policy but as camera phones proliferated that became harder to enforce and we got a bit lax about it.”

“Going forward we want to re-emphasise the policy so that we encourage people to stay in the moment, protect the dancefloor experience, and avoid social media stress or anxiety.”

Pre-camera phone raving in the 90s

However, enforcement of this rule can be tricky. Asking ravers to leave their phone at home just isn’t an option in this day and age. Many venues now offer lockers, which can be used to safely store belongings including phones, however again this is hard to enforce. Clubs such as Egg and Amsterdam nightclub De School have be known to place stickers over the camera lens to prevent filming, with venue security keeping an eye out for any who break the rule.

So, should camera phones be banned? There’s no arguing you’ll have a better experience living in the moment, than trying to record it. Some will say they’ll have one hand in the air filming whilst they keep their eyes on the action, but lets be honest – there’s nothing worse than a shaky portrait video where you literally can’t tell what’s happening.

However, it is important to capture our favourite moments and remember them in years to come – you can’t beat looking back through your camera roll and reminiscing at good times. So, what about hired photographers/videographers who’s job it is to do just that, meaning we can relive those moments and better yet, in HD quality to transport you back to the dance floor.

Whatever your opinion, the jury is still out and probably always will be. There’s no right or wrong answer, but it will be interesting to see how the clubbing landscape may change with more renowned clubs opting to ban camera phones at the rave.

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