The Yondr system keeps a person's cell phone from being used during live performances. The pouches can only be unlocked in designated spaces. Image via overyondr.com.
Written by Gabriel Dillard
Post-Covid events are back with a full audience – this time without the phones.
Save Mart Center is welcoming comedian Bill Burr this Friday, but on its Facebook page on Tuesday, it informed attendees that they will be placing their phones in pouch “lockers” during the show. Designated phone use areas are scattered throughout the arena, where people place their phones in the pouch. While guests maintain possession of their devices at all times, they can only be unlocked from the pouch in a designated Phone Use Area.
Yondr, the company providing the phone pouches, markets itself as transforming environments into phone-free spaces. The Yondr Pouch has been used in workplaces, classrooms, courtrooms and at live shows. Yondr staff routinely sanitizes the equipment.
Anyone seen using a device during the performance will be escorted out of the venue by tour security, according to Save Mart Center’s website.
The initial Facebook announcement generated quite the reaction from users. One user commented, “You can’t keep me off my phone I will never step foot in those confines again you don’t pay my bill nor do you control my life someone will record it regardless of what you say.”
Other users displayed concern over what amount of control is acceptable.
Another user commented, “Almost all comics do this, especially when working on a new special so their material isn’t leaked or stolen. Don’t like it, don’t go.”