Mint Warehouse in Leeds, UK has become the latest nightclub to ban flash photography on the dance floor. Last week, the famous underground music venue shared a post on Instagram outlining the new rules and although some people disagreed, there was a lot of support for the move.
There really is nothing worse than being in the zone on the dance floor, immersed in light and sound and then seeing someone flash fire (or worse, seeing someone filming with the flash alight). It’s a complete mood killer and no one ever captures great photos or videos of a party with flash anyway. It’s unflattering at the best of times and even more so when you’re sweaty and have had several drinks.
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It’s not uncommon for nightclubs to completely ban cell phones, and some will even kick you out if you’re caught using one. Many clubs in Berlin, such as the techno superclub Tresor and the notoriously hard-to-reach Berghain, have completely banned the use of cellphones in the hope that it will make people more connected to the present moment and not to social media. .
In April 2019, DJ Mag published an article asking if it was time to completely ban mobile phones on the dancefloor following an Eventbrite survey conducted the previous year. Research shows that of the 1,031 people surveyed, 70% said they found people filming or taking photos, while 81% said they could understand why it might get in the way of artists and DJs.
While Mint Warehouse won’t ban phones entirely, banning the use of flash will make phones less noticeable and much less obtrusive. Personally, I think banning phones is a good idea and it’s coming from someone using one on the dance floor.
Professional photographers are often hired by the promoter or nightclub to take pictures of the night, so it may be best to leave it up to them. After all, they’re paid to take photos, so you know they’ll be better than anything you could capture on your smartphone – even if it’s one of the best camera phones out there.
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