For anyone who enjoys live music, part of the fun is taking photos of the band or recording video to relive the experience at home or show off on Facebook. It’s a tradition that strengthens the connection between bands and their fans long after a concert is over. Especially in this digital age, many bands depend on the power of social media to connect with new audiences they could never reach before.
If you’ve ever attended a concert in Japan, you know this is not the case. You will almost always see “No photos” and “No video” signs posted all over concert venues. It doesn’t matter if you’re watching a foreign artist or a local one, you are not allowed to take pictures, and a host of security personal will remind you of the fact.
Find out why this is the case, and which big musical act might be turning the tide, after the jump.
Paul McCartney; One Direction; Taylor Swift; these are only some of the artists who have played or are scheduled to play big shows in Japan in 2015. The Asian market is huge, and the top musicians aren’t skipping out on Japan when they go on tour. Die-hard Japanese fans have noticed that footage and photos of concerts held outside of Japan are constantly being uploaded on Facebook and Twitter, even though fans in the Land of the Rising Sun have to settle for expensive DVDs to relive their concert experience at home.
Oddly, copyright infringement isn’t always the culprit here. If the video and audio recordings are only being reproduced for personal use, then the recording isn’t breaking any laws. The concerns generally lie elsewhere. In order to avoid chaos at a concert site, sponsors and venue executives can establish specific regulations.
▼And then avoid this…
Even without using big, professional photographic equipment, fans holding handheld cameras or phones above their heads will block the field of vision of concert goers behind them. Plus, if there is a rush of people wanting to take pictures of the musicians, it can get very dangerous. For the concert sponsors and organizers, there is a responsibility to provide a safe environment for the fans.
But with more and more foreign artists playing shows in Japan, organizers are starting to take notice of what the fans want. There is a slow but steady movement of Japanese artists who are experimenting with allowing pictures and video to be taken at their concerts.
Japanese rock band Sekai no Owari is nonchalantly leading this charge as they allow their fans to take photos and recordings of their concerts.
▼Sekai no Owari
It seems to be just a politeness factor in Japan, but with the growing number of smartphones and the advent of social media, this system might certainly change. In the future, you might be able to record a concert in Japan for your own viewing at a later date, and you can thank the music group with the clown in it. Be sure to remember to remember that.