Kate Bush, the ethereal singer famous for Wuthering Heights, Hounds of Love and Babooshka has issued a statement asking fans to refrain from using their camera phones at her upcoming gigs.
The star, who hasn't performed since 1979, begins a run of 22 comeback gigs at London's Hammersmith Apollo from August 26th to the 1st of October this year. “I have a request for all of you who are coming to the shows,” she wrote on her website, “We have purposefully chosen an intimate theatre setting rather than a large venue or stadium. It would mean a great deal to me if you would please refrain from taking photos or filming during the shows. I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iPhones, iPads or cameras.”
Fans holding camera phones aloft at gigs is a common sight, but Bush isn't the first music star to take a stand against it. Prince is notorious for disliking the recording of his material, and banned the use of mobile phones on his recent tour. Signs proclaimed that any fans found breaking the “Purple Rules” would be “asked to access another experience”. He did, however, encourage the crowd to take their phones out during the hit Hot Thing, allowing fans to capture a few snaps.
Jack White, famous for fronting the American rock duo The White Stripes, also doesn't allow gig-goers to take photos. He offered an explanation for the ban – that cameras block other people's views, but also that “the bigger idea is for people to experience the event with their own eyes and not watch an entire show through a tiny screen in their hand.” Global megastar Beyoncé echoed White's thoughts on her 2013 tour. At a show in Atlanta, she lambasted a fan for recording the song Irreplaceable, quipping “Put that damn camera down!”
Should fans be allowed to take a few pictures to remember their experience? Or is Kate Bush right to ban phones at her gigs? There are pros and cons – but she certainly has the support of some big name musicians behind her.