UK gig venues ban 'selfie sticks'

Some of Britain’s biggest music venues have banned the ‘selfie stick’ on the grounds that it ruins the gig-going experience for other patrons.

The gadgets – which allow users to take ‘selfie’ shots on their camera phones from a distance – were popular gifts at Christmas and have turned up at gigs and events since.

But London’s O2 Arena, O2 Academy Brixton and the SSE Wembley Arena have now banned the sticks, Billboard reports.

A spokesman for the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena says: “The O2 do not allow selfie sticks into the arena due to safety considerations and so as not to impact the view of other fans. We welcome selfies, but leave the stick at home please.”

Bosses at The Academy Music Group – which runs 16 venue including the O2 ABC in Glasgow and Leeds’ Underground – have also said the sticks won’t be allowed at their venues.

A spokesman says: “This is in keeping with our existing policy that prohibits the filming and photography during a performance with iPads and other tablet devices and includes any such obstructions for the satisfaction of other customers.”

The ban will please a number of music stars who have spoken of their dislike of camera phones being used at shows at all.

Last year, Kate Bush asked fans not to ruin her comeback shows with cameras while Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor warned he would squirt water at any fan filming a gig on their phone.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.