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More Irish Gigs Expected To Become Phone Free

More Irish Gigs Expected To Become Phone Free

Smartphone use has become a major sticking point for comedians who complain of poor audience etiquette during their acts.

Anyone who was lucky enough to catch Tommy Tiernan’s, recent Irish tour will have faced the bizarre request to keep their phone in a locked pouch for the entire performance. The comedian is the latest act to enforce the measure and we can expect much more to follow suit.

We have all experienced the worry and stress of not having our smartphones at hand. In fact, a UK study has shown almost 40% of 18-30-year-olds exhibit signs of smartphone addiction such as losing control over how long they spend on their phone and becoming distressed when they cannot access it.

Meanwhile, smartphone use has become a major sticking point for comedians who complain of poor audience etiquette during their acts which they say has been getting worse and worse.

Speaking to RTÉ, a promoter with MCD productions, Noel McHale, said “People sometimes act like they're sitting at home watching the TV instead of a live show.

"So they think there's nothing wrong with taking out your phone, or even answering your phone during the comedy show and not realising that not only are they affecting the performer, but they are annoying the people all around them as well."

This behaviour has led some acts to use ‘Yondr’ phone-locking pouches which Noel McHale says creates a better atmosphere at the gig by eliminating the distraction of the mobile phone.

Tommy Tiernan is not the only act to use Yondr during Irish gigs but also Bob Dylan and Chris Rock. The MCD promoter says many more may follow suit despite the artist having to foot the bill which can cost around three or four euros per audience member.

Comedy acts are not the only use for phone-locking pouches such as Yondr. The devices have been used in courtrooms and increasingly in schools in an effort to eliminate distractions in the classroom.

The founder and CEO of Yondr, Graham Dugoni, has argued that ‘cancel culture’ is the main reason for the device's growing popularity at comedy acts.

He said “It's definitely an aspect. I think for comedians in particular, it is incredibly important that their material and what they do is take in fully in context,” pointing out that Dave Chappelle, Joe Rogan, Madonna and Adele have all used his company’s device.

Graham Dugoni added that the Irish market is a growing one for such a device so we can expect to see them at more gigs in the future if we think it's worth the stress!

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Ireland, Music, News