Coachella, Lollapalooza ban selfie sticks

Mar 31, 2015 | Arts

By Christina Succi

Music festivals have added the “selfie stick” to the list of prohibited items allowed into their events.

The popular photo-taking device has been banned from mega music festivals Coachella in California, and Lollapalooza in Chicago.

Coachella said in a statement on its website, that “selfie sticks/narcisstics” would be prohibited from entering the festival premises.

Picture-takers love the new device because it allows them to take pictures of themselves from further away and at more flattering angles.

  ‘It could end up in a selfie stick arms race’ – CBC Tech reporter John Bowman

Brock McLaughlin, head of digital strategy at Herscu and Goldsilver told Humber News on Tuesday that after receiving one as a Christmas gift, he loves the stick.

“Sure you can set a timer on your phone but what if you want to get an overhead shot?” said McLaughlin.

“It for sure fills into narcissistic culture but really don’t all selfies- there’s no difference to putting it on a stick.”

The selfie stick ban isn’t surprising to CBC tech reporter John Bowman in Toronto.


“Selfie sticks get a lot of attention in media and blogs because people see them as narssistic or whatever,” Bowman told Humber News on Tuesday.

“I’m sure if you looked at a list of items the festival doesn’t allow, you’d see all sorts of things banned, like canteens, backpacks and tripods.”

While some users might love them, some critics call them obnoxious and dangerous.

Kirk Anastasiadis, a London, Ont., club owner and festival organizer  is among those critics.

Anastasiadis, who has organized festivals for upwards of 10,000 people in his city, told Humber News that he plans to ban them.

“They cause too many problems, they’re basically a weapon if someone decides to use it as one, and it’ll slow down security,” said Anastasiadis.

“It could touch another fan at the concert and obstruct their view, but most importantly, you look like a complete idiot and if you’re that person, I don’t want you at our event.”

Won’t bring one

Music fan Brandon Sewell, who attended Coachella last year and will be attending again this year, agrees.

“I would never be the guy to bring one to a festival,” said Sewell.

“I think they’re fun when you’re in a crowd but if everyone had one I could see it getting really annoying and out of hand.”

One of the main concerns of the concertgoers and festival organizers is how the stick would not only pose as a danger to fans, but also an obstruction to their view of the stage.

“The audience at a concert looks a lot like a sea of devices these days,” said Bowman.

“It could end up in a selfie stick arms race- trying to get higher.”

McLaughlin agrees that the stick would be nuisance to surrounding fans at the festival.

“They are going to get in peoples way, obstruct the view and probably knock someone in the back of the head and just ruin the overall concert experience,” said McLaughlin.

“You don’t need a selfie stick to have a good time – you’re missing out on the reason why you are there which is to actually sit back, listen and enjoy the show.”