Concerts ruined by selfish people using their phones

<span>‘Why watch something on a tiny screen when you can live in the moment?’</span><span>Photograph: Alamy</span>
‘Why watch something on a tiny screen when you can live in the moment?’Photograph: Alamy

Your editorial about mobile phones in concert halls reminded me of the very strong stance taken by Keith Jarrett, the American jazz and classical pianist, who insisted that no photography was allowed during any of his performances (The Guardian view on phones in concert halls: what engages some enrages others, 19 May). This was expressed before the concert by the promoters and by Jarrett’s manager.

Sadly, on many occasions, a flash from a phone in the audience would happen and subsequently either the concert would come to an abrupt end or there would be a lengthy delay before the performance would resume. The wishes of the musician were not respected.

I can appreciate the appeal, especially among a younger audience, of wanting to capture a memorable moment, but for me it’s all about putting phones away and being very much present in the music.
Bren Pointer

• After 50 years and several hundred gigs and concerts, in 2022 we decided to retire from going to concerts and gigs. We grew tired of people spoiling what should be an enjoyable experience with the use of cameraphones. You pay good money to see artists on stage, which is then ruined by selfish people raising their screens in your line of vision. Why watch something on a tiny screen when you can live in the moment? Our best memories of gigs are in our heads, starting with James Taylor in 1971.

Some venues make an effort to stop this selfish behaviour, but many don’t. It is time that more artists made a stand to stop so-called music fans recording their performances (as the opera singer Ian Bostridge did). If they did, we might return to concerts and  gigging. We miss it.
Barry and Joy Norman
Drighlington, West Yorkshire

• Concerts and operas are given by musicians who have spent a great deal of time developing the skills and understanding that ensure their performances are revealing and memorable. The idea that audiences should be allowed to disturb their performances with the latest technology is utterly unacceptable. What next? Dancing and laughter at a funeral?
Meirion Bowen

• Call me a fuddy-duddy if you like, but I shall never accept the use of phones during a performance in a concert hall or theatre. As for those people who can’t be parted from their screens until the conductor raises his baton, they truly set my teeth on edge. Nowadays, when I look down on the stalls from my seat in our local concert hall, where once I saw fellow concertgoers about to share a divine experience with me, all I notice is a sea of blue. This was once a very special moment, when I could feel an absolute affinity with my neighbours. Nowadays, and moreover ever since Covid, I am more likely to feel alienated. How sad.
Joan Lewis
St Etienne de Gourgas, France

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