Comedian Dave Chappelle is in the news this week as he becomes the highest-profile entertainer to partner with Yondr, a company that has created a locking pouch-like device to prevent audience members from using their phones during a performance.
Chappelle will use the service for 13 upcoming sold-out shows at Thalia Hall.
Chappelle is motivated to use Yondr because, in the age of iPhones and YouTube, a performer’s material becomes less valuable as it spreads across the web and affects ticket sales. Movie theatres are interested in the technology to help prevent piracy. And, of course, many performers just want their audience’s full attention. In the article Save Your Soul. Turn Off Your Gadget, author Jeffrey To describes how jazz pianist Keith Jarrett walked offstage at Carnegie Hall, distracted by audience members fiddling with their phones. He writes:
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