Cellphone lockboxes bring back the sanctity of concerts

Cage the Elephant will be coming to Sacramento on April 15 at the Crest Theatre. Many fans are excited to see their favorite band, but they might be surprised when they find out what the band will ask of them.


The event will require all audience members to put their phones in high tech lock boxes made by the company Yondr before the show. After the event, the boxes will be opened before the audience leaves. In the event of an emergency, the case will open when the owner of the phone walks into the lobby. Rather than being consumed in the social media world, Yondr’s goal is to get back to the times when the audience felt connected solely with  the music being played in front of them.


The invention of Yondr is amazing. Social media has never been so popular and consuming, and has caused people to feel as though they need to have their phone out for almost the entirety of the concert. I’ve noticed that people at concerts get so consumed in recording on their phone that they forget that their favorite artist is right in front of them. When we are so consumed in our phones, we forget to appreciate what is right in front of us and can miss out on something great. It can be nice to escape the world of news and social media. It can be nice to not have to worry about being made fun of for dancing crazy at a concert. The founder of Yondr agrees.


In a Washington Post interview with Yondr founder Graham Dugoni, he said that he saw a drunk guy dancing, and saw two people film him and put him on YouTube. Dugoni said “If a guy can’t go to a concert and just kind of let loose, what does that do to all interactions in the social sphere?”


The Yondr lock box has more than one use. In many cases, artists have used the pouch to try out new music and get a feel for how the audience likes it without having to worry about it getting leaked. There’s also something about not having a phone at a concert that’s calming and makes the event more enjoyable.


When I first started going to concerts, I was constantly on my phone filming. When the concert was over, I’d realize that I spent half of it filming and missed out on short and special moments the artist had with the audience. It’s wasn’t until I saw Michelle Obama in person that I realized that the moment was what really mattered. She is even more famous than any musical artist is, in my opinion, and it was clear that it wasn’t the time to record the entire thing. I knew that this moment wouldn’t last, but that my memory of it would be so important to me in years to come. Sure, one could argue that a picture or video could have the same effect, but I wanted to feel and remember the atmosphere. I took a few short videos and about a dozen photos of the then FLOTUS, and spent the rest of the moment taking in what she had to say.


But this being said, if Yondr had showed up at the Michelle Obama event, I wouldn’t have been too happy. I think Yondr can be an amazing and powerful tool, however, it’s nice to be able to take some photos home.