Daily Archives: December 12, 2012

How Smartphones Have Changed Fan Participation at Concerts

Seeing a live concert is always more extraordinary than listening to the MP3, no matter how loud you turn up the volume. There’s nothing quite like being there in the same room with the band. But these days, more and more people are attending concerts with smartphones in hand…and that’s changed the live music scene quite a bit.

Getting There

Image via iPhone Screen Cap.

Remember when you were so excited about a show that you grabbed a tent and a couple of friends to actually camp out by the box office? Years ago, people had to behave this way in order to get tickets to see a really big act. Now, you can spend about 30 seconds on your smartphone and get those must-have tickets.

Ticketmaster and all the big ticket brokers have apps and online websites which are easily accessible through smartphones. You can even save your credit card info or link your PayPal account to make instant ticket purchases, no waiting in line required. Once you’ve got your tickets, just use your smartphone to map out a route to the venue, maybe pre-book a hotel room in advance and even arrange to rent a car.

Being There


Image via Flickr by Markus Unger.

Go to just about any concert, and you’re going to see people actively using their smartphones while the music is playing. More than one-fourth of the crowd will be posting updates on social media sites. According to research, 32 percent of concert-goers are sending Facebook updates or tweets during the concert. Lots of them may be adding pictures to those posts, as 53 percent of people use their smartphone as their primary camera. Almost half of the entire crowd, to the tune of 47 percent, will be texting and emailing friends during the concert.

What’s Music Got to Do with It? 


Image via Flickr by iantmcfarland.

A lot has changed since the days of overnight ticket camping sessions. Not all concert fans and concert performers find the changes to be pleasant, however. Jack White, formerly of the White Stripes, walked off stage during a New York City concert after asking the crowd to please not film the show. Since so many people who attend concerts use their mobile devices for just this purpose, White probably would have had better luck asking the wind not to blow.

There is a price to be paid for all this sharing and smartphone use during an event that used to encourage fans to live in the moment. Many people use concerts as a reason to imbibe in substances, like alcohol, that impair judgment. Couple this with a smartphone that can take pictures, record video and this share this information with the world, and you’re brewing up a whole lot of trouble.

Getting with the Program

Image via bits.blogs.nytimes.com.

Some venues and artists have embraced cell phone usage during shows. The San Francisco Symphony has reserved “tweet seats” in their concert hall to encourage this behavior. Some bands have their own apps. And when you want to show your appreciation for your favorite song, the smartphone is a handy tool to have. Instead of a lighter, you can use the lit-up screen to show the band a little love. Do it with a T-Mobile LG Optimus phone, and you can watch your video playback on a full-touch HD screen. The Optimus gets you connected to social sites quickly so you can share your concert experience, and get in on the trend.