Jack White has announced that he would like his 2018 tour to be “100% human experience” and will therefore be banning cell phones at his events. In a statement posted where ever tickets are being sold the former White Stripes guitarist said “We think you’ll enjoy looking up from your gadgets for a little while and experience music and our shared love of it IN PERSON.”
“Upon arrival at the venue, all phones and other photo or video-capturing gizmos will be secured in a Yondr pouch that will be unlocked at the end of the show. You keep your pouch-secured phone on you during the show and, if needed, can unlock your phone at any time in a designated Yondr Phone Zone located in the lobby or concourse,” the statement read.
White’s tour is alternatively offering fans who want to post to social media the ability to use live photos taken by official photographers after the show. Fans can go to the new Jack White Live Instagram account @officialjackwhitelive to locate photos and videos that they can repost to their heart’s content.
White’s 2018 tour is in support of his third solo album, Boarding House Reach, that is due out on his Third Man Records label on March 23. The extensive tour will see him stop through out the United States and Europe, with several festival headlining positions. Unlike his stops at Shaky Knees, Boston Calling, and Governors Ball, his non-festival dates will strictly enforce the use of Yondr, a company that provides pouches that lock the use of cell phones except for designated areas in a venue.
“The artist asked to do this so we’re accommodating,” said Audrey Fix Schaefer, Communications Director for I.M.P. which owns The Anthem and operate the Lincoln Theatre in D.C. White will play two nights on The Anthem between May 29-30.
Fix Schaefer added that “Another artist used the same system last year at the Lincoln Theatre,” referring to Cage The Elephant which implemented Yondr for their 2017 which included a stop at Lincoln Theatre. Other artists like Beyonce, Chance the Rapper, Bruno Mars, and the reformed Misfits have also used the pouches to create phone-free spaces.
For some of White’s stops on the nearly 40 date tour, this will be their first time with technology. Another Entertainment’s Head of Concerts and Festivals Allen Scott said the use of Yondr will be a first for the indie promoter who is hosting White at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on Aug. 15. Omaha, Nebraska’s Baxter Arena will also implement the restriction for the first time when White stops by on April 23.
“Yondr is a technology that has never been used in the Omaha market before, so it’s hard to say what to expect,” Skylar Lewis, Box Office Manager at Baxter Arena, told Amplify. “We do expect to see slower than normal entrance and exit, but we will also be encouraging fans to leave their phones at home or in their vehicles during the show to help alleviate issues at the door.”
Lewis explained that the restriction is being listed on all ticket sites as well as the tickets, which he hopes will resolve some congestion during ingress and egress.
“Our venue has not received any feedback in any manner regarding this restriction,” Lewis said. “However, personally being a Third Man Records Vault member (a quarterly vinyl subscription), I have seen both positive and negative feedback relating to the restriction through different forums and pages. I think the people who have seen Jack White before are a little more understanding, as they are used to him having a no photo policy at his shows.”
Jack White fans should not be surprised by his use of Yondr. The Third Man Records founder has enforced no photography policies on his previous tours and even discussed his aversion to phone usage on television appearances. White explained on Conan in 2014 that he was warned that audiences would be upset with him if he asked them to leave their phones in their pockets, but the reaction was the opposite.
“We tried it and a lot of people applauded when we asked that. They applauded and everyone as a mob agreed that we don’t like this idea or this practice. I think it is distracting for the people in the back who are trying to really watch and they see a sea of blue screens in front of them,” White said on the appearance.
General admission for White’s tour went on sale today with several locations already announcing sellouts. Head to JackWhiteiii.com for a full list of dates and more information.