A Scottish Music Festival Just Banned Cellphones

It was all so festivalgoers would "actually live in the moment"
A Scottish Music Festival Just Banned Cellphones
Photo: Lindsay Duncan
There's no question that phone use at concerts can be a divisive issue, and now one Scottish festival has waded into the debate by banning cellphones entirely at its event.

The fest in question is Edinburgh's FLY Open Air Festival, which just took place over the weekend. At the event, organizers urged attendees to "actually live in the moment" and did so by locking away festivalgoers' phones in special security cases provided upon entry.

Festival director Tom Ketley spoke to Metro [via NME] about the decision, saying, "You would not go to the cinema and watch the film through your phone, so I don't see how this is any different. Dance music is becoming more popular within youth culture, and more and more young people are getting addicted to their phones. It means people are watching the whole show through their screens."

He continued: "We felt like there was no other way do this other than take quite drastic action. If you put stickers over people cameras they just take them off."

To rid the festival of phones, FLY Open Air had 8,000 phone-locking cases shipped in from the U.S. And if a festival attendee really needed to use their phone, they were allowed to retrieve it in the lobby and use it there.

As Metro notes, this marked the first time a U.K. festival had banned phones altogether, but performers have urged fans to put away their devices for years.

Of course, the U.K. is not alone in the concert phone debate, but there are other ways to discourage fans from using their device at a show. In Japan, for example, a series of written signs politely asking concertgoers to not use their phones during the show is often all it takes for attendees to "actually live in the moment."