Why do bands care if fans use non-professional cameras and lenses to take a few photos of a fun night? Professional musicians are celebrities and we're the paying customer. If I shuck out $3 or $300 dollars to see a band live, I expect to be able to take a photo. I am very blessed that I am given photo passes to capture images of concerts so I can share with you. What about the rest of the arena?
During the Motley Crue show in Illinois, security was literally walking up and down aisles, looking for cameras. Whenever a rouge flash illuminated the dark, the guards actually shined a flashlight in the "guilty" fan's face. No, I'm not kidding.
At first I wondered if cameras were banned because the Motley show had a general admission pit. If someone was dumb enough to throw their camera, it could cause some bodily harm. The camera would also completely shatter, thus making the owner (and thrower) look like a real idiot.
Most festivals have huge general admission areas. I've never been to one yet that didn't allow cameras. It just seems like recently indoor venues are cracking down.
I wonder if it is the band or the venue?
Surely it must be the band. I have to ask: do Motley, AC/DC, Def Leppard, George Michael or any of them actually think a fan will snap a good enough photo from a small camera to sell to Rolling Stone or Spin without their permission? I really don't think so. Even with a professional camera, it takes many, many shots to get something really good. Yes, even professionals shoot duds. It happens.
I can live with the security checks. We live in a very unsafe world and I'd rather not have someone bring an Uzi into the concert arena, thank you very much. I have a problem with all the extraneous restrictions, "no cameras" being one of them. Maybe bands don't like their videos popping up on YouTube. Funny thing, I bet Kate Winslet doesn't like it when People captures her buying Starbucks while wearing a track suit. It happens and this is life. I'm not saying musicians don't have rights, because that's just not true. You'd be hard pressed to find someone fight harder than me when it comes to illegal downloading. Still, I'm paying to attend a show. I'm showing support but I also expect to be entertained. For me, that show involves being able to snap a couple pictures. Moreover, it's not even all about the band. When bands/venues institute a no camera policy, they are also robbing fans of the ability to take pictures with friends. Finally, as ticket prices continue to rise and the average convenience fee attached to said ticket is usually 20% of the face value, there must be a value-add. Stripping rights from fans only further alienates the ticket buying audience. Enough bad experiences and fans will stop going to shows, no matter the band. It's just economics. People don't remember what you said but they do remember how you treated them. This is true in all aspects of life: both personal and professional.