There is nothing more annoying than hearing a cell phone ring during a quiet part of an orchestra concert. The noise disrupts the music, musicians, and the ticket buyers. But can there be a way for orchestras to profit off of this annoyance? Sure:
- Have a cell phone check. Like a coat check, a few bucks to insure that you wouldn’t be the fool that left the cell phone on would be well worth it. If there was worry about missing a message, perhaps a quick check at intermission. If one was worried they’d leave their cell phone at the cell phone check after the concert, then they could refer to #2.
- Keep your cell phone but sign an agreement that if the phone goes off, you will give an obligatory donation. Perhaps $100 is a good place to start. Maybe you could pre-pay for the whole season just to cover your bases!
I jest, kind of. But the cell phones ringing at concerts are causing many people a kind of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder.) Almost as soon as a quiet section of music starts, many musicians and some audience start wondering when the sublime moment will be ruined.
Similar to passengers ignoring flight attendants giving the safety demonstrations on air planes, people at concerts tune out the preconcert reminders about turning off a cell phone. How many times or ways can one politely remind an audience (or musicians on stage-you know who you are!) that cell phones need to be off?
A fee based “penalty” or cell phone check would certainly generate some cash flow and make people think twice. Now, how to fix the coughing epidemic…