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Music festival in Poland to ban photography and video as part of a social experiment

Yesterday, we wrote about high-profile musicians who are banning photography during their live performances. Now comes word that an upcoming Unsound electronic music festival in Krakow, Poland will ban photography, videography, and phones for the duration from October 13-20, according to Pitchfork. The ban also applies to professionals working for the media.

unsound-logoBut unlike Beyoncé banning photography because unflattering images of her were being circulated, the reasoning behind Unsound’s ban is a social experiment that’s tied to this year’s theme, “Interference,” and “not to denigrate photographers.” It’s about living the experience through your eyes, not a screen, as many musicians have stated as their rationale for photography bans.

“Our aim is to encourage our audience to focus on being in the moment, and not distract others out of that moment,” said Mat Schulz, Unsound’s artistic director. “We want to question the automatic tendency to place photos and videos of concerts online, be it on social networks, music websites, or video streaming platforms, to put some tiny glitch in the constant bombardment of images, today’s main tool of communication.” 

But the ban won’t be heavily enforced by Unsound staff. “The ban will not be policed by security guards, this is going to be a community action – if you see someone next to you filming, ask them politely to stop,” Shulz added. 

The only person authorized to take photos will be an official Unsound photographer. Audio will be recorded and archived by NTS Radio. It will be interesting to see if this “community action” will work, or if it’ll start fights in the audience.