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Singers to Fans: Put Your Phones Away

Yondr, a San Francisco-based service which locks the phones of the concertgoers, is currently gaining traction among artists as they try to force the attention of the public back on the music.

Ask Jack White, and the last thing that he wants to see at his concerts – particularly when he is onstage, is scores of fans involved more with their phones than his music. Therefore, after pleading with fans on numerous occasions to put away their bad habit, he’s going hardcore.

In his upcoming spring tour which is already sold out, Jack White has turned to Yondr, a tech company which forces the concertgoers to keep their phones in their pouches. White says that the way his fans would react next would give him a clue on what to do next.

White’s spring tour, which would be starting from April 19th, would be the first full music tour which is going to hire Yondr, a service which only allows the attendees to use phones for emergency calls in designated ‘’phone zones’’.

Instead of forcing fans to keep their phones down during the concert, Yondr’s operating mechanism is unique. In the concert where it is employed, Yondr takes away the phones of the attendees, lock them in a pouch before giving them back.

Attendees are allowed to keep the pouch with them, however, they cannot open it inside the concert. If they feel a need to use their phone, attendees have to come outside the concert hall and tap it on a metal disk installed by Yondr in various places to unlock it.

The pouch might not be the latest technological innovation, but it’s working for a slew of artists, including Alicia Keys, Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K., and the Lumineers.

To every concert in which it is employed to moderate, Yondr charges $2 per every ticket price and provides its own staff. So popular has Yondr become that even Justin Timberlake employed it in a recent album-listening part of his own.

Still, despite the increasing popularity of Yondr, not everyone is enamored with it. Although promoters acknowledge the fact that phones flashing on their faces distract artists, they also contend that for pop stars who have young fans, smartphones are a crucial marketing tool.

However, when we look at the growing list of artists who are turning to Yondr to get the full attention of their fans, the San Francisco-based service is here to stay.

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