US venue introduces phone locking system during live shows

Phones at gigs: Good or bad?
Phones at gigs: Good or bad? (Image credit: Getty)

The Revention Music Center in Houston, Texas, has introduced a new phone locking system to prevent concert-goers from filming or taking pictures during live shows.

They’ve announced that the plan will be in place for Jack White’s scheduled performance on May 1.

The audience will have to place their phone into a Yondr pouch upon entry, which will then be locked. While your phone will remain with you at all times, the pouch can only be opened from outside the main hall using an “unlocking base.”

The venue explain: “This is a phone-free show. No photos, video or audio recording devices allowed. We think you’ll enjoy looking up from your gadgets for a little while and experience music and our shared love of it in person.

“Upon arrival at the venue, all phones and other photo or video-capturing gizmos will be secured in a Yondr pouch that will be unlocked at the end of the show.”

They add: “You keep your pouch-secured phone on you during the show and, if needed, can unlock your phone at any time in a designated Yondr Phone Zone located in the lobby or concourse.

“For those looking to do some social media postings, let us help you with that. Our official tour photographer will be posting photos and videos after the show at Jack White’s website and the new Jack White Live Instagram account. Repost our photos and videos as much as you want and enjoy a phone-free, 100% human experience.”

The issue of fans using phones at live shows has split opinion. Artists including A Perfect Circle, Green Day, Sebastian Bach, Corey Taylor and Disturbed have been vocal about their opposition to fans using phones during live sets.

But a recent survey by ticket website Skiddle found that only 27% of young music fans wanted them banned.

Find out how the system works on the official Yondr website.

Why you should never ever use your Smartphone at a gig (and, OK, when you can)

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.