If you’re the kind of concert-going fan that dies a little inside each time you witness an army of amateur photographers whip out their smartphones at a concert to capture the band’s big hit, who’s a little sick of the ‘check ins‘, Instagrams, and amateur filmmaking disrupting the concert experience, then there’s now a music festival designed just for you.

We’ve already seen artists take a stand against the small screen revolution that’s taking hold at live music performances, with Jack WhitePrinceAtoms For Peace, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs being just a handful of those who have confiscated the use of smartphones at their concerts, but now an international music festival is taking a hardline against the habits of mobile users who are more concerned with documenting their music shows than just experiencing them.

Poland’s electronic music festival Unsound has announced that in line with its 2013 theme of ‘Interference’, they are ensuring that punters and artists will have little from smartphone users. “Unsound is imposing a ban on photographs and filming of live shows,” reads a statement issued by festival organisers, as Stereogum points out.

Held annually in Kraków and celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the festival organisers state for the 2013 edition of Unsound “no photo passes will be given to media, and audience members should resist the temptation to put cameras or mobile phones into action.”

A music festival utopia free of mobile phones might sound like heaven to some, others are probably concerned that their iPhones and Galaxy’s will be confiscated at the Unsound gates by Orwellian guards with truncheons. Thankfully, that’s not quite the case. “Our aim is to encourage our audience to focus on being in the moment, and not distract others out of that moment.”

The mobile phone ban won’t be strictly enforced by security at the festival, which runs from 13th to the 20th October this year, but will rather be “an experiment in resisting contemporary habits” upheld through crowd and community self-monitoring – think along the lines of Meredith’s ‘No Dickheads’ policy.

“The ban will not be policed by security guards, this is going to be a community action – if you see someone next to you filming, ask them politely to stop,” says Unsound Artistic Director Mat Schulz. Explaining that the idea is not to “denigrate photographers” or criminalise those wanting to take snapshots (who doesn’t love a festival selfie?), but more to ensure everyone is sharing in the lived experience, the moments and the music that brings people together.

“Our aim is to encourage our audience to focus on being in the moment, and not distract others out of that moment,” says Schulz. “We want to question the automatic tendency to place photos and videos of concerts online, be it on social networks, music websites or video streaming platforms, to put some tiny glitch in the constant bombardment of images, today’s main tool of communication.”

To stem the flooding of Twitter and Facebook with a torrent of poor quality images and awful, distorted videos of the festival’s lineup – which includes Pantha Du Prince and the Bell Laboratory, Laurel Halo, Forest Swords, Jenny Hval, Australia’s Garland, and more – Unsound will instead have an official photographer who will “discreetly and efficiently document a few special events,” but notes most events “will not be filmed or photographed at all.” Audio from various performances will also be “recorded, archived, and transmitted in various forms by NTS Radio.

Despite the sheer fact that the average mobile phone’s capabilities aren’t up to scratch for concert filming or photography, or that festival-sized light shows can do permanent damage to a camera lens (and we don’t mean spilt beer), many try to document their experience, forgetting the fact that they’ll probably never re-visit their fuzzy images and that there’s already a range of quality, accessible content on the gleaming digital plains of the Internet.

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