Following in the footsteps of some of the world’s most popular museums, music festivals are beginning to ban the ubiquitous selfie stick from their events. Earlier this week Coachella posted a list of banned items to its website, including “selfie sticks/narcissists.” Lollapalooza similarly announced that it would not allow selfie sticks into Grant Park, where the Chicago-based music festival will take place this summer. Both of these announcements arrive on the heels of last weekend’s Ultra Music Festival, where selfie sticks were also banned.
These decisions have sparked a lot of controversy online and prompted strong reactions all around. Some have been upset with the festivals’ decisions to ban what they see as a useful tool to engage with the environment and event, while others have rejoiced at the idea of one less distraction from the music.
From the festivals’ perspectives, there are many risks involved with allowing selfie sticks. Aside from the fact that they can potentially be used as weapons, they can also cause physical risks simply due to their size and functionality. Dropping, walking into, or tripping over selfie sticks are very real risks that music festivals have a duty to curb, due to their large audiences.
But it’s also interesting to consider some of the business implications that these festivals might face by allowing selfie sticks. If selfie sticks were allowed into the concert spaces, users would be able to capture unobstructed high quality videos from their devices to share content or even stream live. Though this is not cited by any festival as a reason for the ban, we suspect that any threat to the festivals profit margins, or legal agreements with their artists adds yet another reason why selfie sticks won’t be making an appearance at this year’s hottest music festivals.
What Sparks Our Fire: An interesting debate on how technology can impact our real life experiences.