Feel Good Friday – What To Do When Your Concert/Solo Is Interrupted By A Cell Phone

by admin on January 27, 2012

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Aje January 27, 2012 at 6:35 am

Oh yes! XD you could tell the guy in the second video was really kind of annoyed. AS HE SHOULD BE!

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Abi F January 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

Living in the UK, I always love a trip down to London to see the top guys playing in Covent Garden! They have been known to pinch phones until the end of the song too, and it’s always so funny. Appreciate the music, life’s too short to miss a good thing on a silly phone call that can wait another 2 mins!

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Susann January 27, 2012 at 9:22 am

In the first example I’m not understanding why the musicians did what they did. It was an extremely casual outdoor setting and it almost looked liked the musicians were busking. If I am at an outdoor cafe and buskers decide that location is a good place for them to try to make money I feel no obligation to limit my cell phone use. There is nothing to indicate the people were there at that table specifically for the music.

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Chocobo January 27, 2012 at 9:48 am

I admit I laughed aloud at the first one, but I feel the second video was the larger faux pas. Whether the musicians should have accosted the man on the cellphone is rather questionable because this doesn’t seem to be a private concert, but a public space, it looks like a shopping mall? Speaking on a cell phone is not necessarily inappropriate here because it’s a public area where chatting would normally be expected, not a concert hall that demands silence. But the fact that he’s ignoring his friends to talk on his cell phone is definitely rude. If he had excused himself to take a phone call it wouldn’t have been an issue either way.

The second video is less funny as it is a sad reality. I sympathize with the violinist’s obvious irritation. I’m irritated myself just watching it, and I’m not even there. (His playing is lovely, by the way!) The concert hall is a place where you shouldn’t even be breathing too heavily for fear of death, and for good reason. A friend of mine spent some time in the U.K. and he said there was an ingenious trick to get people to shut off their phones at a theater he attended — they played the “Nokia” standard tune very loudly over the loudspeakers right before the concert started, and it reminded everyone in the hall to shut down their phones much better than asking.

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Gracie C. January 27, 2012 at 10:50 am

That first one didn’t look like a concert to me, it looked like a performance at an outdoor public venue. I don’t think anyone is required to pay attention in those circumstances. And since we have no idea what the man was on the phone regarding I think the musicians were quite rude. I’m I’m wrong about the setup I would reevaulate my position.

The second one was brilliant – and his looks in the direction of the cell phone offender even after his smooth handling of the situation spoke volumes.

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Rug Pilot January 27, 2012 at 11:59 am

That’s why my cell phone goes ding and then vibrates, all the time. I never have to silence it. It doesn’t disturb anyone and I know it’s my phone that’s “ringing” because I can feel it. As for talking during a performance, that’s acceptable behavior in a jazz venue not a classical concert.

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Ann January 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm

LOL. Both handled perfectly for each circumstance.

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Caitlin January 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

People are right in their interpretation of the first video – that’s Covent Garden, and those musicians are a regular feature in that particular spot. They are busking, but they’ll have a license to perform there, so it’s not like they just set themselves up in a random corner! To be honest, I don’t find either the man on the phone or the musicians rude in that video. The musicians often react to people in the crowd; it’s part of their performance, and I think you would expect it if you were going to have a coffee in that particular place. But it’s not rude of the man to be on his phone either, in my opinion. It’s a public space, and he may have decided to sit at that table and start his conversation before the musicians started playing, for all we know.

The second one is just sad. The timing is so awful it’s almost as though it were planned. Very impressed with the way he handled it, though!

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The Elf January 27, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Cell phones at a theatre (movie or stage) or concert is one of my pet peeves. It’s so disruptive! I love the violinist’s handling of it by mimicing the ring tone! The first one gets a little pass from me – it was clearly an informal setting, where music was ambience not the focus of the event. Still, the phone guy should have gotten up from his seat and taken the call at least at the back of the crowd. I liked the way they handled it too, and I don’t think they were rude by rushing over to play right around him.

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Mojo January 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm

No, no no, the first one was at Covent Garden. It’s a converted indoor market, with gift shops, coffee shops, and designated pitches where you expect to hear entertainers , singers, musicians, all day long. They’re not just buskers set up at random in a public area. It is a venue. So if you sit there on your mobile, you should be prepared to be mobbed / picked on / made part of the show.

Don’t miss it if you’re in Central London, it’s a fantastic entertainment area, and great for shopping. But if you’re coming on the Circle Line at rush hour, get off and walk from Holborn. Way too busy on the Tube. See you soon!

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G. January 27, 2012 at 8:16 pm

@Abi F

I had the luck to see those exact guys performing, and they were really good actually. I love the little cafe there too.

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Enna January 28, 2012 at 6:48 am

I agree with Caitlin, the performers at Convert Garden where interatcing with the audience and the man on his phone was smiling so it must have been a casual call not an important one other wise he would have left. Maybe it is the Musicans getting their own back in a fun way. The man on his phone wasn’t in the front of the audicence and I didn’t hear the phone go off. The second one was rather bad because it was heard. If the phone user was expecting an important call he/she should have put the phone on silent/vibrate then excused him/herself if needs be.

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Angel January 28, 2012 at 10:12 am

Both videos had me cracking up!! Especially the 2nd one, OMG the recipient of the cell phone call was probably mortified!! But I’ll be that he or she will never leave their cell phone on in a venue like that again. Holy mackerel–that was fantastic!

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Bees January 28, 2012 at 10:53 am

In the middle of a class lecture, one of my fellow classmate’s phone rang. Our instructor stopped and turned to the student and said, “that better be God.” We all had a good laugh, and went back to the lecture.

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Chocobo January 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Mojo — Just because the performers are prepaid and not busking does not change the fact that the venue is public, where one would normally expect public goings-on: chatting, cell phones, getting up halfway through and leaving, milling about, eating, etc. I don’t think it’s appropriate to publicly embarrass someone if they weren’t actually doing anything wrong, not even if it’s part of the shtick.

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G. January 29, 2012 at 4:17 am

@The Elf
Getting up from your seat would not be most likely advised: those are tables for a restaurant which is just out of frame. But there are always musicians there, so answering your phone isn’t a no-go as it were. I’d say no one was rude in this scenario.

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Margo January 30, 2012 at 5:51 am

For some reason I can’t view the 2nd video,so can’t comment on that one, but so far as the first one is concerned I agree with others that this is not a concert, so I don’t think that the man is rude for talking on his phone (unless he was doing so very loudly, with I would view as rude in any event) He is potentially being rude to his companions, by taking/making a call, but we don’t know.

The musicians seem to have addressed it in a light-hearted and humourous way so I don’t think they were rude either.

I agree that there is a special circle of e-hell for people who don’t turn off their phones in theatres and cinemas

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Snowy January 30, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I think the musicians in the first one were just being humorous. I thought it was funny, and I’d think it was funny if it happened to me in that setting. :>

The second one, unfortunately, has been removed from YouTube by the user. What was it of?

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Hannah April 13, 2012 at 12:46 am

I was at a concert for the middle school once. My sister was singing in the choir and had been excited for weeks about her solo and she was so happy that her big sister (me) was coming to see her. Just before her solo, a cellphone rang. It belonged to a man two rows behind where I was sitting with my family. Forgetting to turn off your cellphone is quickly silencing it when it rings is one thing. But this guy ANSWERED IT. I thought “okay, he’s annoying but he’s going to say ‘I’m busy, call you back in 30.’” But no. He answered with a casual “what’s up?” and proceeded to discuss his progress with fixing his car or something. I missed my sisters whole solo due to this guy talking overly loud. Just after my sister sang the last note of the solo she had spent months preparing for, the guy said “hey, I’ll talk to you later. Bye.” and he hung up. I was ready to hurt him. After the concert, my sister ran up to me and was beaming ear to ear. “Did you like my solo? Was it good?” The look on her face when I told her I hadn’t heard a note almost brought me to tears. It is NEVER okay to talk during a concert performance even if it is a middle school performance. Those kids worked their butts off to make a concert for friends and family to enjoy, something to be proud of, and to have someone blatantly disrespect that just grinds my gears.

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Ellen September 7, 2012 at 5:49 pm

As other commenters have said, the first video is from the lower level of Covent Garden market, and the musicians are buskers. However, the seating which is visible belongs to a restaurant out of shot, and the people sitting there are customers of this restaurant. I myself have been sitting at these seats before the musicians arrive and start playing, and although I have always found this a delightful and welcome surprise, it must also often be the case that people expecting a different experience will be less happy and maybe even inconvenienced! In this light, I would find the violinist’s actions obtrusive and unnecessary – the man on the phone did not go to a concert, he went to sit and have a meal or some drinks in an outdoor seating area and so it is not rude of him to behave accordingly. I would be mortified to be singled out in this way!

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