A Letter To People Who Can't Put Their Phones Down At Music Festivals

by Dan Scotti

To Whom It May Concern,

Well, first and foremost, I’d like to say -- you missed a great show.

I’m serious; it was really something. Maybe if you weren’t so preoccupied on that f*cking phone of yours, you would’ve seen some of it.

I have to admit: I’m a little flummoxed by your antics.

Perhaps I’m just old school, but I’ve always believed concerts -- and music festivals, alike -- are best enjoyed when you’re actually watching them. You know, with your own two eyes and ears.

See, Woodstock was the sh*t -- and changed a lot of people’s lives -- but I doubt it would’ve had the generational impact it did if all the hippies in attendance decided to stop dancing naked and record the f*cking concert on their cell phones.

If you’re spending money to GO to a festival only to record the festival -- so people who AREN’T at the festival can watch a streamlined, obnoxious version of it -- why even go to the festival? Sort of seems like that just defeats the purpose, no?

I mean, there’s no way you enjoyed yourself. I was standing right next to you; you spent the majority of the first set looking through Instagram filters, deciding on which one made the f*cking sea of random people’s heads look the most “artsy” -- you went with Valencia; I would've gone for a subtle, 60-percent Mayfair. Either way, couldn’t have been fun.

Not to mention it’s extremely annoying for the people around you. It’s distracting, man. It’s rude.

It’s very difficult to focus on the performance that’s actually on the stage when you’re standing adjacent, waving your phone in the air -- with the f*cking flash on -- like you’re trying to signal an airplane in for a safe landing. Give it a rest.

See, believe it or not, there were people in the crowd who actually wanted to enjoy the performance -- IN REAL LIFE.

Pulling your phone out, incessantly, to record every single song is like the music-festival equivalent of going to a dinner party and whipping out a “doggy bag” while the rest of the table is trying to enjoy their hors d’oeuvres.

It’s just not right. We paid good money to enjoy our experience in the moment.

So take a deep breath and enjoy the show, dude. Don’t worry about recording it.

There are people who will take care of that -- trust me.

It's not your responsibility. You're a paying customer; your job is to have fun. Which leads me to my next point:

Was somebody paying you to record the entire duration of the concert -- or was that just something you took it upon yourself to do?

See, from a conceptual standpoint, it makes zero sense to me.

If you’d rather record concerts than enjoy them, why not look into becoming a paid photographer or videographer, yourself?

At least if you were working for some media or photography company, you’d get compensated for your time and effort, and you’d also probably be given some better equipment than the cracked lens of your iPhone camera.

Then, little by little, you could add some legitimacy to your enterprise.

But I doubt too many people are anticipating your sh*tty phone-recorded tidbits from the concert.

It’s almost like you’d rather forgo enjoying the concert altogether just so you could post a blurry video with bad sound to Facebook the next day and accumulate eight likes for all your work.

By the way, I’m pretty sure the rest of your social network has caught on to the fact you’re at a music festival by now -- thanks to your 440-second Snapchat story chock-full o’ pulsating strobe lights mixed with the distorted thump of 808 drums and teenage girls shrilling.

But, it does bring up the question: WHO THE F*CK MAKES A SNAPCHAT STORY UPWARDS OF 400 SECONDS?

That’s not a story; that’s a f*cking textbook. I usually follow a policy in which I’ll delete any people who leave Snapchats longer than 60 seconds.

And I’ll admit: I’ve recorded a few concerts in the past, albeit briefly.

Like, maybe when my favorite song would come on, I’d record, like, 20-30 seconds of the hook or my verse of preference.

I’ve since kicked the habit, though, after realizing I’d never actually feel the urge to watch these videos again, shortly after taking them.

Furthermore, who has the battery life for that type of sh*t?

Festivals are full of drugs, creepy people and creepy people on drugs -- you’re going to want to have a functioning phone on you, pretty much at all times.

I certainly wouldn’t be running through my battery with my woes recording something I would enjoy more thoroughly without my phone.

Then again, I’m not really here to judge. To each his own, as they say.

Although, I do hope you consider taking a break from the phone next music festival you go to.

If not for your own good, at least for the sake of the rest of the people in attendance.

Yours truly,