Mint Warehouse in Leeds, UK has become the latest nightclub to ban flash photography on the dancefloor. Last week the popular underground music venue shared a post on Instagram outlining the new rules and while some people aren’t on board, there has been a lot of support for the move.
There really is nothing worse than being in the zone on the dance floor, immersed in the light and sound then seeing someone flash fire (or worse, seeing someone filming with the flash on). It’s a complete vibe killer and no one ever captures amazing photos or videos from a night out with flash on anyway. It’s unflattering at the best of times and even more so when you’re sweaty and several drinks in.
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It’s not uncommon for nightclubs to ban mobile phones entirely and some will even go as far as kicking you out if you’re caught using one. Many clubs in Berlin such as techno superclub Tresor and the notoriously hard-to-get-into Berghain have banned the use of mobile phones completely in the hope it’ll make people more connected to the moment and not social media.
In April 2019, DJ Mag (opens in new tab) posted an article asking if it was time for a total ban on mobile phones on the dancefloor following a survey Eventbrite (opens in new tab) conducted the previous year. Research shows that of the 1031 people asked, 70% said they find people filming ot taking pictures while 81% said they could understand why it might annoy artists and DJs performing.
While Mint Warehouse isn’t banning phones entirely, banning the use of flash will make phones less noticeable and a lot less distracting. Personally, I think the banning of phones is a good idea and that’s coming from someone who uses one on the dancefloor.
Professional photographers are often hired by the promoter or nightclub to take photos of the night so perhaps it’s best we leave it up to them. After all, they’re paid to take photos so you know they’re gonna be better than anything you could capture on your smartphone - even if it is one of the best camera phones.