As I was reading an article about Ellen DeGeneres’ upcoming appearances in San Diego, a sidebar about “Do’s and Don’ts” gave me pause.
Is this what we’ve come to, to attend a live show?
The performances are phone-free, and all phones and smart watches will be secured in Yondr cases, which will be unlocked after each performance.
I didn’t know what a Yondr case was, but now I do: A pouch that locks when you close it, and requires a device for unlocking it.
Security staff lock your phone in this pouch, which you keep, and can be opened only with the unlocking base.
Attendees can access their phones throughout each show at designated phone-use areas in the theater.
So if you have to use your phone, you go to this designated area, unlock the Yondr, do whatever with your phone, return it to the case and security staff lock it again.
Prior to the show you stand in line to get the Yondr, and after the show you stand in line to get the Yondr unlocked.
Inaccessible phones also prevent the disturbance of ringing cell phones and conversations during the performance, and we know there are plenty of people whose phones ring and have conversations during live performances.
No use of cameras or any recording devices is permitted. Anyone using such devices during the show will be removed and will not receive a ticket refund.
DeGeneres, and any person who creates something, is proprietary about it, and rightfully so. They own what they created. They don’t want us recording their material and repurposing it – like posting it on social media – without their permission.
And we know that happens. I recently noticed an entire Broadway show, shot with a cell phone and posted on YouTube, and that’s just one of thousands of examples.
Food or drink will be available in the lobby, but are not permitted inside the venue.
This was a new one for me. I’ve never been to a live performance that didn’t at least allow me to take a beverage to my seat.
But food and beverages can be a distraction for both the audience and the performer – especially when we spill something. And the trash we leave behind can cause a mess, and even damage, to the venue.
No exit and re-entry will be permitted during the performances.
This was another new one for me. If you need to go to the bathroom, better take care of that before the show – especially since this show was two hours with no intermission.
Walk-through metal detectors will be used on all attendees, and all parcels are subject to search.
Of course I understand this. After the horror of the October 2017 massacre at the concert in Las Vegas – and all the other horror stories – all safety precautions must be taken.
I suppose it’s only a matter of time – and money – until all public entrances have metal detectors, from movie theaters to bowling alleys to churches.
And it makes me sad, that yes – this is what we’ve come to:
It’s no longer enough to ask attendees to turn off their phones before the show, because we can’t be trusted, and we don’t.
It’s no longer enough to make an announcement before a show, forbidding the use of recording devices. We can’t be trusted, so now our phones are locked up.
It’s no longer enough to request attendees pick up their bottles and other trash from food and drinks – we can’t be trusted to do this, because we don’t.
We can’t be trusted not to bring guns or other weapons to the theater, so we have to walk through metal detectors, our purses and parcels searched.
As I said – sad.