I Put My Phone Down During A Show And Here's What Happened
There are a few things that people bring to every festival. Kandi, portable chargers, totems, hydration packs, and diffraction glasses are some of the things that show up on lists of what to bring to shows. But the one thing that everyone brings is their phone, and after all, why not? In our modern day world, losing your phone is akin to losing your right hand (and then some).
Your phone is something that you should bring to every festival. You need it for safety in case of emergency, and how else will you meet up with your rave fam if you guys get separated? How else will you call your Uber when you need to leave? And how else will you take the photos and videos that flood the internet after shows?
I remember at my first show, my friend told me that he always took videos so that he could remember the show. I have other friends with the "if it isn't on Snapchat/Instagram/social media outlet of your choice, did it really happen?" mindset.
I remember once at a show this guy I knew was literally was on his phone the entire night. While we all appreciate the brave souls with strong arms who record entire sets for our enjoyment post-festival, does this preoccupation with phones affect our experience at the show?
At Electric Zoo, it rained, and it rained to the point where I retired my used and abused iPhone into a plastic bag to protect it from the elements. It was about halfway through Saturday's show that I put my phone away and I got to enjoy Tchami, Zedd, Excision, Slander and Above and Beyond without my phone. Sure, I have no videos or blurry photos of the stage, but the experience was one that I won't forget.
Initially I felt uncomfortable not having my phone in my hand, but no more than ten minutes of phoneless-ness later, I realized that I really liked it. I wasn't worrying about holding my phone up to try and catch the perfect 10 seconds of the drop on Snapchat. I wasn't stressing about getting the perfect picture of the stage mid-pyrotechnics with adequate light, the right filter and exact focus.
I just got to enjoy the show. And it was wholesome, beautiful and so much fun. And my phone didn't get damaged by the water.
While it is true that I don't have videos of raving in the rain to Above & Beyond while they dropped "Sink the Lighthouse" and typed inspiring messages up on the screen, I have memories of raving in the rain to Above and Beyond while they dropped "Sink the Lighthouse" and typed inspiring messages up on the screen. And that means more to me.
I realize that at EDC, Moonrise and a lot of other shows that I attended, I was so preoccupied with getting the perfect video of my favorite song, that I almost forgot to enjoy myself when the DJ dropped my favorite song. Would I prefer to watch a video of Illenium playing "Sound of Walking Away" or would I rather be in the crowd, crying (I kid you not) when my favorite song is played? The answer is an easy one.
Now, I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from taking photos and videos, sometimes you do want the memories on your phone, or maybe you want to show your friends where you are. And that's fine. Just remember to look up from your phone once in awhile, because festivals are a spectacle of their own. Memories on your phone are one thing, but memories in your heart are another.