V.com weekend vote: What policies should symphonies have about cell phones?

October 4, 2019, 12:53 PM · Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter certainly created a stir in the classical world last week after she stopped a performance in Cincinnati to call out a cell phone user, who was then expelled from the concert.

Reactions have been mixed.

cell phones at the symphony
Image © Violinist.com.

Many feel Mutter did the right thing, that recording a live performer is akin to stealing, and that people ought to know better than to do so. Others feel that societal norms have changed, that cell phone use is so commonly permitted in other forms of entertainment that classical music should evolve to permit more of it. Most agree that the whole incident was unfortunate for everyone involved. It sounds like the cell phone user was quite young, and reports conflict over whether she was pleading her case or apologizing to the performer.

Whatever we wish the rules to be about cell phones, I feel that symphonies and classical performers need to make the rules a lot more clear for our audiences.

In Cincinnati, the symphony's rules were that "During the performance: Phones on and silent allowed. Non-flash photography is encouraged during moments of applause. Audio and video recording is not allowed. Please be mindful that the use of smartphones and other devices during concerts can be distracting to others. Tag your photos @CincySymphony or @CincinnatiPops!" I'll say again that they need to add: "Non-flash photography is encouraged during moments of applause and is prohibited during the performance," if that is what they mean. Policies need to be clear and explicit.

That said, what do we actually want those policies to be as we move forward into a future where cell phones are woven into everyday life? Perhaps it would be best to provide picture-taking opportunities out in the lobby and completely prohibit phones being on, inside the concert hall. After all, the symphony could be that haven of quiet in a noisy world, something like meditation, where the interruptions of a cell phone simply will not happen.

Or, there could be special, designated concerts in which cell phone use is completely encouraged, allowing unlimited recordings and photos. (Of course, there are obstacles to this - one would need permission from the musicians union!) Maybe there is a way to allow limited photo-taking inside the hall, during applause and breaks in the music.

Perhaps soloists should come out on stage and say, "Okay, take your picture now, then turn off your phone! Once I start playing, no photos or recording..." Seems extreme, but performers in other genres have done this.

Whatever the policy, how do we communicate it? It might not be enough to have a small paragraph about it on the symphony's website or in the back of the program. Is it necessary to make an announcement before every performance? Possibly. What other ways would be helpful?

And then how do symphonies and classical venues enforce the policies? Should ushers aggressively police the audience before and during performances?

We haven't even brought up the most common offense - when the cell phone simply rings during the performance!

I'd like this vote to start a discussion about how symphonies can handle cell phones at concerts, specifically what the rules should or could be, and how those rules could be enforced. Please choose the answer that seems closest to your feelings about the matter, and then let us know what you think we can do to prevent the interruption and humiliation of an incident such as the one that happened last weekend in Cincinnati.

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October 4, 2019 at 06:14 PM · I don’t think cell phone video or audio should be allowed at symphony concerts at all. Signs should be posted as you enter the concert hall and if a patron is found in violation, the usher should request that person to turn the cell phone off. However! Our symphony does an outside concert in the park to open their season and there, I think, it’s acceptable to use your cell phone for video, pics and audio.

October 4, 2019 at 07:34 PM · If I just think about myself, I think no cell phones at all.

But then I think about the teenagers coming up. Teenage excitement/enthusiasm/fandom is huge and contagious. If they aren't able to visually document it, it's almost as if it didn't happen and they certainly won't be able to share their excitement. Think about all the other forms of entertainment that they'll be able to celebrate on social media...and classical music in a concert hall will never, ever be mentioned. You can see where this is going...

I'd be interested to see what the youngest of the performing virtuosos think about this issue.

October 4, 2019 at 07:34 PM · How about a rule for the performers? No riffing on the cell phone tune, no calling out customers, no shenanigans from the stage when a cell phone goes off. If you have a bad experience performing in Cincinnati (for example), then don't play there ever again and tell your friends to avoid that venue on their tours.

Venues can set their own rules. These should be clearly stated from the stage before the concert, and they should be printed in the program.

There is no point having rules you can't enforce. If a concert-goer makes a bootleg recording, that's very hard to prevent, but if they post that on SoundCloud it's on the copyright holder to allege infringement.

Personally, I would rather not see phones being held up for either photos or videos while the performance is underway. Between pieces, photos are fine. Maybe if the orchestra would hire a pro photographer then folks could buy a couple of pictures of that particular concert or maybe even a little video snippet for a reasonable price (not $50).

October 4, 2019 at 08:24 PM · Nothing half so much fun as watching a concert from a cell phone in the row in front of you blocking your view of the stage. Equally as fun is watching the World Series in the same manner.

October 4, 2019 at 08:34 PM · Holding up a mobile during the performance is up there with coughing and standing up (before the performance is over). Seems a shame we need to spell it out to people, but I guess it is needed. As a previous poster said, signs up of a mobile with a cross through it (covers those claiming they do not speak the local language).

October 4, 2019 at 09:06 PM · I used to make my kids turn in their phones before dinner. Seems to me that unless you happen to be a neurosurgeon or head of state, you can do without your phone until intermission. Enjoy the moment, live in it!

October 4, 2019 at 09:44 PM · No phones. What is the matter with people that they can’t enjoy a concert without their stupid phone turned on

October 4, 2019 at 10:27 PM · I don't own.....repeat: don't own a cell phone/iphone...am not sufficiently 'impotent' to need one.....am not a doctor on-call, am not a lonely-heart that needs the constant attention afforded one...and thus, am not in jeopardy of the evils of driving with one...etc.....Dinosaur ?? Perhaps, but a happy one....

October 4, 2019 at 11:34 PM · Bright display in your line of sight is annoying at best, so I voted no phone at all. If you make exceptions it becomes a grey area and rules don’t get followed. Everyone understand no phone at all times.

October 5, 2019 at 01:56 AM · Classical music concerts should be a haven away from cell phones and other distractions. I want the performer to give their best performance, and if that eliminates cell phone use, so be it.

October 5, 2019 at 02:13 AM · The only acceptable use of cell phones IMHO is as an emergency device for physicians and others who need to be reachable at short notice. In this case: Phone on and on silent setting. For everyone else: Phone off.

If an orchestra (or a soloist) needs pictures of a specific occasion let them hire a professional photographer. If a concert is to be recorded use the expert from radio / television.

October 5, 2019 at 03:01 AM · I do agree that you should not use a cellphone during a concert. Like at the movies, perhaps there could an announcement or signs posted to make the venue’s policy clear. I’m sure that is the case with most events.

I had a different experience around 2006 or 2007. Itzhak Perlman had a concert at Severance Hall here in Cleveland. My wife and I had seats in the upper balcony area. It was an amazing concert. The first half of the concert Mr. Perlman played through. But the second half, he chose to address the audience and describe the music he was about to play. He was speaking about the composer, when the woman two seats over from me had her phone ring. Without missing a beat Mr. Perlman said, “That must be him now!”

Everyone chuckled for a moment and it was back to the concert. The offending concert goer looked mortified and apologized but there was no harm. That has stayed with me. It really impacted me. It was my first time ever to see Itzhak Perlman, who I had admired as child. His playing always appealed to me. His warm personality only strengthened my regard for him.

I can understand how an artist puts there heart and soul in their performance and would like respect while they play. I think when the situation can afford it though, perhaps a little light heartedness can diffuse the awkwardness.

That being said, I don’t blame Anne Sophie-Muter. She is a consummate professional. She shouldn’t have to demand courtesy at a performance. We need to be responsible audience members.

October 5, 2019 at 06:41 AM · Recording devices of any type: video, sound, photography (flash or no flash), are not permitted at any Concert/Opera/Recital venues.

All devices MUST be turned OFF.

Are you there for the performance or just to be a nuisance.

Please no "SELFISH" phone sticks...... annoying

crap that hits your head as you walk in the streets are not needed inside concert venues...

October 5, 2019 at 08:11 AM · There are few, if any genres so uptight about cellphones, as classical. I would say that they should be allowed as long as they aren’t making noise, and even then, accidents happen. The etiquette in the classical genre allows the genre to shoot itself in the foot by alienating fans who haven’t memorized all of the stuffy unspoken rules involved. It wasn’t even like this in the classical genre for a while. At one point during the 19th century, things somehow got rather uptight, and people stopped questioning. People need to realize that it wasn’t like this for a while and doesn’t need to be.

October 5, 2019 at 12:57 PM · I wanted to click ... no, no, NO CELL PHONES, EVER. But then I was drawn to the specific concert/performance idea.

As a retired middle school band director, our concert program 'directions' for the audience changed over the last 10 years.

No longer was it a no, no, NO policy. With an audience of 500 proud parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles etc hearing their 11 year old play Hot Crossed Buns with 40-90 of his/her others buddies for the first time ever, the last few years we've started encouraging parents to come up and get pictures. Essentially, we willingly gave up the sanctity of the performance. But, it is clearly stated that they are not to interrupt or interfere with the director. We also now leave ALL the lights on in the gym so there was no need for flash photography if they were close. Photographers were encouraged slip up and take pictures during performances even ... but to not distract the musicians. The kids also learned that their focus needed to be on me, no matter what was going on around them - excellent practice for competition or outdoor playing.

That being said, I prepped MY students, they were NOT to be waving at mom during the performance. I put the onus on them to be respectful and model responsible musicianship for the audience.

There was a 3 minute speech at the beginning of EACH concert about audience expectations. For many of these families, it is their first (and possibly ONLY) formal concert with protocol.

I thought I was brilliant. 11 years, no major problems that I knew exactly how to address or prep for.

Until ... the quiet aunt who wonderfully stood way back and way off to the side to take pictures and record a bit of the performance on an iPad. I didn't notice her, but my poor flute section did. The LED flash was on and 3 of my poor flutes were blinded. They didn't want to say anything, but they were missing cues and then not being able to read their music because of that intense small light. They discreetly told me, I discreetly ... NAH, I ending up calling the poor woman out in what I thought was a humorous way. The audience all laughed, but she was mortified, she'd tried so hard, and she wasn't even videoing those flutes. She hid for the rest of the concert, the poor woman, and by the middle of the next piece my flutes' eyes had all adjusted.

So THAT is why I elected that it's a no, no, NO ... unless it's a specific concert and promoted as such.

Otherwise PHONES OFF AND AWAY. The glow of a silent phone receiving a message is still annoying to those around them. As another commenter stated. Live in the moment. We do that so rarely now.

October 5, 2019 at 02:24 PM · I go to concerts to listen to the music, and that's about it. I don't need to photograph the performers with the back of someone's head in the photo. I don't need to record the music since I usually have a high quality recording of the selection at home on iTunes, CD's, or records, and a nifty stereo system to listen to every moment. I often close my eyes while listening to music, so what's the point of making a bad video from my seat? As far as my cell phone goes, (well, it's actually a flip phone - no need for social media), I just leave it at home. I don't see the need to walk around with that thing in my pocket every second of the day. Want to talk to me? Leave a message, or send an email. I'll get back to when I have the time. From looking at this survey, it's clear the majority of people don't want those toys being used in concerts, and another 30% or so don't mind photos during applause (with all those heads and hands in the way, they'll be pretty bad photos, but oh well. . .). So that's over 80% of us who aren't really crazy over the whole photo/video/cell phone nonsense in concert halls. Frankly, I'd use much stronger language, but I know this is a G rated site. As far as Anne Sophe-Muter goes, I hope she keeps doing what she did and calls out these rude yahoos for what they do. I hope more people do the same. The message should be clear - be a grownup. Leave your toys at home or turn them off and leave them in your pocket or purse. Nobody every made a good photo/video/recording of a concert from their seat. Just sit back, listen to the music, and be present. It ain't all that hard.

October 5, 2019 at 02:25 PM · metal detectors should be at the entrance of halls to stop any mobiles and cameras and so on being brought in. If I ever make it to soloist I will insist....

October 5, 2019 at 03:10 PM · General rule: No phones. No pictures. Emergency use of phone only.

Announced rule takes precedence: For some concerts, the conductor might say, "Sure, take pictures or record." Same for soloists. Perhaps outdoor venues. Perhaps when it's junior who won the soloist competition and part of the prize is performing with the local symphony, with parents, friends, cousins, people who know the performer's cousins, media, etc., etc., all in attendance--if the soloist says, "Sure."

I get the view that "teens these day need to document everything" but let's not confuse learned behavior with things like "cats upchuck hairballs." Teens are conditioned to need to document everything. They can't accept being out of touch for 10 minutes because "what if something bad had happened to you" because they've been taught to fear being out of touch and can't feel secure unless their support network is always there. And they need to document everything to make sure others are sufficiently aware that *they* are having fun that others aren't having and to say, "Look at me!" They've been trained one way; they can be trained another way. The nice PR is fine, but have snippets taken by a videographer with permission posted for download and reposting.

October 5, 2019 at 04:58 PM · Cell phone use has sparked unfortunate clashes between audience members. At least one I know of turned deadly -- in the tragic, and totally needless, shooting death of Chad Oulson in Florida nearly 6 years ago.

I voted the third option: "Allow unlimited photos and recording, but only at designated concerts."

Whatever the policy for each venue, management needs to spell things out. Print the rules in the program and announce them from the stage.

The issue doesn't matter to me personally anymore. The demands on me these days, and my dislike of going out at night, when most performances go on, keep me out of concert halls, movie showplaces, and sports venues. I haven't gone since the late 20th century. Thanks to today's HD video and audio technology, I can still take in these events, some very recent or even live.

Mobile phones weren't everywhere when I was still attending, and cellular technology was nowhere near what it is today. So cell phone users, like the one at the ASM event, weren't a problem. Then, too, I didn't encounter two other annoying types I've read about on vcom -- "Symphony Snobs" and the "Sourpuss at the Symphony." Nor did I have to deal with the four B's I've heard and read about lately -- oozing with their own sense of entitlement: boors, boozers, bratty kids, bratty parents.

October 5, 2019 at 07:47 PM · I think the issue of Ms Mutters behaviour far outweighs anything here, to do what she did to a young person was hideous and only caused damage to those who wish to see classical music progress and reach greater audiences. The damage is done, the sychophants are out, it's only a phone, we talk about being in the moment, being transfixed, yet a poxy rectangular shape can get some in a tizzy or in Ms Mutters case, totally ape!

Eitist snobbery, that is how it looks and will carry on looking untill we get more people like Andre Reiu who wouldn't give a monkeys if you was juggling several cell phones in the front row, nearest we ever come to becoming a bit "street cred" was Nigel Kennedy and his fake accent.

October 5, 2019 at 10:51 PM · I personally think recording should be allowed, at least for personal, ie, private use. And if you want to take a video, buy seats are at the side lines. But even if you don't do that, Don't forget to put your phone on do not disturb, even if it means turning do not disturb on the moment you wake up on the day of the concert!

October 5, 2019 at 11:11 PM · @

Your opinion and you are entitled to it, but I strongly disagree with you.

"Hideous" seems a little strong and over the top. There were many people who made the effort to see ASM that night. The person with the cell phone instigated the disruption and to the negative energy that ensued. I'm sure the majority of people there would just rather be in the moment during the concert and not be distracted.

October 5, 2019 at 11:15 PM · I’m a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra. So very often a cellphone will interrupt the most delicate moment of a piece and completely ruin everything! So I have always hated the cellphone even being allowed in the hall. That being said, I am starting to maybe evolve. Guess what, cell phones are not going away, and these interruptions are going to continue. Is it possible to allow a certain amount that doesn’t interrupt whereby major institutions don’t come off stuffy and rigid? (And of course union rules also prohibit such things.) Last time I looked there is a plethora of commercial entertainment on YouTube ( I have watched it and enjoyed it :-) )getting more attention than the POA ever gets. I’m starting to realize that free social media publicity is huge in today’s day and age... and USEFUL! We all may have to start to reevaluate and rethink. Just my humble opinion.

October 5, 2019 at 11:49 PM · Recording a live performer is not "akin" to stealing. It is stealing.

I voted for allowing photos and video but only at specific concerts, something for which the AFM makes provision.

Otherwise, having a lighted screen in the hall is distracting to others in the audience even if it's on silent, visible phones from the stage are distracting to the performers, and unauthorized recordings of live performances are theft. Not "akin" to theft.

October 6, 2019 at 03:40 PM · To

Non Sequitur.

None of the names above went out of their way to humilate a young lady. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the venues policy on recording, it does not excuse exceptionally unprofessional behaviour from ASM, what does it take for the penny to drop? Had this been Nigel Kennedy with his cor blimey trousers and Aston Villa football shirt on, I would guess the very same people excusing ASM would be laying into NK.

Plenty of artists who enjoy what they do and actually encourage people to download for free of the internet, they have no issues with theft etc, nor are they so unprofessional that they cannot ignore a relatively small oblong object helf in the hands of a young lady.

The insult to young people here is astonishing.

October 6, 2019 at 09:26 PM · @

"The insult to young people here is astonishing"

I'm sorry but I feel that your insult to ASM is worse. Just because this doesn't seem to bother you doesn't mean it doesn't bother other people involved.

Whatever Nigel Kennedy wears or plays, it is his right to do so. It is also ASM 's right to conduct her performances as she sees fit. She has paid her dues after all and we should respect that.

October 7, 2019 at 06:18 AM · Re ~ Cellphones allowed in Classical Symphony Concert's? (29)

"Hideous" is a heinous Insult to Anne-Sophie Mutter, the great consummate German Violinist performing a "Holy" Masterwork composed by the Master, Ludwig van Beethoven, whilst trying to honour his Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary Year of Birth, no less ~

Thank You, God, for Jeff Terflinger, who is a civilized person, musician and disciplined concert goer (plus, I'm sure, full of many other attributes) who is not a "Snob" but is standing up to some inverted snobbism posted here, calling Anne-Sophie Mutter's interruption just after or during the glorious Larghetto of Beethoven's Violin Concerto 'hideous' to a young woman seated in direct front row line, filming a platinum Live concert 'offering' by Ms. Mutter, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Conductor, all in Beethoven's ethereal 'mist' & Wham! A light suddenly glistens in to the eyes and senses of a deeply concentrated soloist, throwing her off to the point she has to stop, and request the person to not film ... If it was being Live recorded by her Deutsche Grammaphon record company, it was necessary and even if not, it was more than timely ~

Would anyone attending the U.S. Open Men's Tennis Final between Rafael Nadal & Medvedev in that last game when the U.S. Open Final Championship was so tense it demanded an utter plus silence from the huge crowd, also sitting on edges of 22,000 seats, holding their breaths in the hopes Nadal could prevail, and some person as close as the ball girls & boys on Centre Court, suddenly flashed a light filming these critical volley's???? H**l NO!! Nadal has earned the respect & total admiration of millions of tennis aficionados who will pay hefty prices to actually see him play Live! Likewise, Anne-Sophie Mutter has earned the same respect of millions of classical music aficionados & her professional colleagues as the same equivalent of the U.S. Open Men's Tennis Final with the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan; Chicago Symphony under Sir Georg Solti & Maestro Riccardo Muti plus all over the classical music concert world, & is a major violin recording artist for renowned Deutsche Grammaphon. As Pro Mary Ellen Goree points out, there are copyright laws & infringments of such laws are mighty serious, folks, as it requires a Lifetime to ascend to such artistic stature, with "Theft" punishable by law, & high fines no matter how digitally addicted many now are!!! This is not about Ms. Mutter's behaviour; this is about a sadly growing lack of respect for highest achievement in any artistic endeavour & including Tennis Art of an Artist of Tennis as the Great Rafael Nadal!

Please, 11/12 numbered only contributor's, name yourselves if taking swipes 'at a concert last week in Cincinnati', because a Live Concert Performance with Anne-Sophie Mutter as the soloist in Beethoven's Violin Concerto and in this 250th Beethoven Anniversary Year is equivalent to the 2019 Men's Tennis Final at the U.S. Open between the Greatest Men's Tennis player, Rafael Nadal, and superb newcomer, Daniil Medvedev!! Only Professional Sports Television & Pro-Star Commentators as John MacEnroe & his brother, were engaged by ESPN & NBC to call the Final & all spoke mighty softly when the points were critical for either of the player's out of a deep & 'having been there and done that' respect.

Think about this, fellow contributor's, and please do not bring in Nigel Kennedy as an example of 'couldn't give a monkey about . . . ' His playing skills, from my view, aren't comparable to those of cultured & intensely musical Anne-Sophie Mutter ~

A Final Thought ~ If some wish comparing Adele or Beyoncé in the same breath as artist, Anne-Sophie Mutter, brush up on the Life of Beethoven & his grave vissitudes of going Deaf, yet composing some of the World's most profound Music which deserves more than respect. It deserves what is in all human hearts, even hurting ones: Humanity & Humility for Greatness and those who have attained greatly enriched musicality to do honour to such . . .

A favored phrase: 'The quieter I am, the more I can hear ...'


Respectfully submitted & ASM supported ~

Elisabeth Matesky *



Jascha Heifetz Master Class - Khachaturian, JH-7, Elisabeth Matesky (Russian version ~ Library of Master Performers)

AM of October 7, 2019 ~

October 7, 2019 at 06:39 AM · I don't why there's such a fuss about people recording during concerts. No one's going to profit off of these recordings, who's going to buy them?

October 7, 2019 at 07:42 AM · Gosh, J Terflinger & E Matesy amplify the accusations of snobbery and elitism,what does it take for the penny to drop? to get a grip?

The words used and the creepy sychophantic adoration towards ASM is staggering, there seems to be a sense of entitlement which we have seen throughout hisory practiced by the ruling classes, the scorn poured on this poor girl who is only guilty of being a tad naive is incrediby authoritarian.

Refusing to see unprofessionalism here, refusing to condemn the behaviour that followed suggests that some are lusting for that seperation, to feel better and above other people to insult and ridicule at the drop of a hat anyone they deem to be below them.

Sigmund Freud wrote about the "The Authoritarian personality disorder"

Breaking this down to basics, we have a bad tempered professional violinists whose mask dropped and a side that would have been better off surpressed, out of sight, surfaced and resulted in a very public shaming of a very young woman what is so hard to understand? Would it be better if I said some old bint with a fiddle layed into some yobbish lout with a cell phone for interrupting a piece she was playing written by some dead old bloke from almost 200 years ago?

The behaviour of ASM should never be repeated, imho she should be made aware of that, elevating her to some fictional heavenly status is simply ridiculous.

October 7, 2019 at 01:21 PM · An excellent article by Michael Paulson and Michael Cooper,"Filming the Show: Pardon the Intrusion? Or Punish it?" was published this morning - October 7 - in the arts section of the New York Times.

By the way. . . a note to Um. . . lighten up. It's not rocket science. These are good people simply trying to play and listen to some wonderful music. It's not political. It's not generational. It's not elitist. It's simple. All you have to do is sit there and let it sweep over you. Get a grip.

October 7, 2019 at 05:32 PM · One orchestra's position on the issue and how they address it:

I was at the Reno Philharmonic's first concert of the season yesterday (Beethoven Piano Concerto #1, Tchaikovsky Symphony #4). At the bottom of the program page listing the day's performance it said:

"Please be considerate of those around you by turning off cell phones and electronic devices during the performance. Photography or video recording in the concert hall is strictly prohibited."

Maybe just making sure people know the rules in your house is enough. I've been to plenty of plays where someone comes onstage before the curtain goes up to remind people to turn their phones off.

Anyhow, the concert was great and if anyone stayed away because of their cell phone policy it didn't affect the box office -- the auditorium was packed!

October 7, 2019 at 11:53 PM · OK perhaps to use a cell phone during first movement of "Three Places in New England" or "Eine Kleine Nichtmusik", etc., but not otherwise.

October 8, 2019 at 02:40 PM · What would be nice is to have SOME part of the performance recorded for listeners to have access to later (I know that some performances are recorded and offered online for a brief period, which is great). Or have the concert hall offer up bits of the performance that are sharable on the various social media outlets. It would likely sell extra tickets too - because the exposure of otherwise unknown music (unknown for the general population, that is) would be greater. I think there is a way to "get with the times" AND honor the musicians by not stealing from them.

October 8, 2019 at 05:47 PM · No matter what rules are made someone will break them. Very often not intentionally.

After reading all of the info on what went on in this case, I firmly believe this was a young slightly naive girl who wasn't fully aware of the situation. Much akin to someone who is speeding and needs a polite warning from the police. A plan should be in place to assure that these matters can be handled with minimum effect to the rest of the audience.

In my opinion all of the ushers should be called to meeting before the concert with instructions made clear that immediate action is required. This is their job, not ASM.

In my heart I feel ASM was having a bad day and over reacted to the situation. Much of what has happened since including the NY Times article are damage control for ASM. Come out with two or three versions of the story to confuse everyone as to the truth of the incident.Continually cite the anti-cell phone rules as if that were some justification for a matter badly handled.

So what I'm saying is, if you need rules make the rules. Be prepared for someone breaking the rules with a plan how to handle it. Don't cover for bad behavior. ASM isn't an angel as her behavior has shown. Humor is a much better way to diffuse.

Use this as a lesson for future action. Don't repeat the same mistakes.

October 8, 2019 at 08:25 PM · I wonder how the thieves would like their hard work and honor to be sabotaged.

I would also say that the artist who has worked diligently most of their lives deserves to be treated with great dignity and the honor they deserve. No phones, no small children, no shouters in the balcony, no throwing things at the stage...

What an insult to the performers and to those who love classical music. It truly is appalling.

P. Najhawan

October 9, 2019 at 01:34 PM · Patricia while I agree that some honor is in line to the performer, expecting total insulation from any and all distraction is an unattainable goal. Some distraction is accidental, some of it is callous, some of it is simple naivete. When a performer can't bend with those kinds of periodic inevitable distractions it might be time for that artist to go to full time YouTube exposure.

For those who continue to pound away at the " video piracy" drum. I sympathize with the idea and I get the jist of that argument, however in looking at this as an isolated case...cmon it's a friggin cell phone video shot in poor conditions not using stabilization by someone who probably wasn't aware it was a crime. Go ahead sue her for her college money. I just think this is carrying it overboard to suggest she is out to post this video to make money online. Are you aware of the very small profits YouTube pays to pros? Don't bet on YouTube to make a living. If a YouTube video posted by a college or high school girl is hurting her income stream ASM needs far more help than I originally thought. The recipe for profits is really in the arena and taken from paying admirers like the person who was so rudely castigated.

October 9, 2019 at 02:48 PM · there is the book The Reasonable Audience

Theatre Etiquette, Behaviour Policing, and the Live Performance Experience


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-99166-5


October 9, 2019 at 04:48 PM · I worked in the entertainment industry for 30 years. I went to theater school. No one is taught any manners anymore. I wrote this 15 years ago.

Rules for behavior of audience members:

1. Turn your cell phones off. Period. Do not talk on the phone, do not text. Do not take photos or video during a performance. It is rude and distracting to the people sitting near you. It’s also copyright infringement and a violation of the performer’s personality/privacy rights. Be present and experience the performance or film.

2. Be quiet. Period. Talking is rude and disrespectful to the people sitting near you and to the performers. You're not sitting in your living room. If you want to have a conversation, go to a bar or restaurant, or wait until the intermission.

3. Take your hat off indoors. Any hat. Be considerate to the people sitting behind you.

4. Take care of your personal business before you go to your seat or at intermission. Food, drinks, restroom. Don't get up during the performance. Again, it's rude and disrespectful to the other people in the audience and the performers.

5. Arrive on time for an assigned seating venue. Again, it's rude and inconsiderate to the other people in the audience to have to get up for you, and it's disrespectful to the performers.

6. Don't leave during the curtain calls!!! It's part of the performance, and it's your opportunity to say THANK YOU to the performers. Walking out during the curtain calls is unbelievably disrespectful to the performers; it's like saying "F- you!"

7. Don't sing along at a concert. Seriously, save it for your car. People paid to hear the performers, not you.

8. Clean up after yourself. Don't leave your trash at your seat, take it out of the seating and put it in the trash can in the lobby. A theater is not a dumpster. Didn't your mother teach you to clean up after yourself?

October 9, 2019 at 06:39 PM · I think people need to be considerate for sure and these are good points.

There is a need to reinforce rules and regulations. On point 4 in this list....that's going a bit overboard IMO.If nature calls I'm getting up or we're going to have a much bigger problem. Most arenas are designed to allow movement and not adversely block views. If I have that issue I'm not going to get up right in the middle of an important part of the concert. I'll do my best to wait until a place where getting up won't bother so much.

Just don't forget as performers you are working for US if we paid to be there, not the other way around. The audience has the option to "fire" anyone who goes too far by their actions. Whatever you do it should be done with care and respect to the audience.I'm not a big ASM fan.If I were she would be off my list faster than you can blink.

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