Live events sector
Pollstar reports that twenty-three people were escorted out of Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena after not complying with a phone ban during a gig by popular comedian Kevin Hart.
Many comedians like to keep their ‘live show’ material secret so each audience gets a new show, and Hart had requested no pictures/videos to be taken and this was communicated to the audience before the show in various ways. The NEC Group, which owns the Barclaycard Arena, told the Birmingham Mail that “for Kevin Hart’s show the usage of mobile phones, cameras and recording devices were strictly prohibited in the arena bowl. This was at the request of both the artiste and touring production who hired the venue for their event.”
Gig-goers were also informed that they wouldn’t be subject to a refund if caught using the banned devices. The newspaper highlights the fact that Hart finished his show by asking his fans “to light up the arena with the torches of their phones for a picture.”
On its website the NEC added “The venue made every effort to ensure that the message was clearly communicated to customers via all avenues available, prior to the show and onsite. The security measures implemented during this event were at an additional request from the touring production who hire the venue for their event. Several announcements were made from the stage prior to the main act going on stage. This was an extreme case, and we would like to assure our customer’s that this is not our standard security or mobile phone and camera policy for events held at our venue.”