Famed funnyman Louis C.K. is in Vancouver for two sold out shows this week.
The standup star has already endeared himself with local comedy fans, by playing two surprise sets at small venues on Tuesday night.
However, while ticketholders are understandably excited about his show at UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, many were left feeling a little aggrieved by the list of restrictions that slipped into their inboxes earlier this week.
In an email notification from Ticketmaster, fans were informed that there was a list of items that would not be allowed into the arena. That list was, well, shall we say extensive, and covered everything from usual items like weapons and drugs to more mundane items like beach balls, silly string, and umbrellas.
“The Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre strives to provide a safe and enjoyable entertainment experience for everyone; therefore, for safety and security reasons, patrons and their belongings may be subject to inspection prior to entering the venue,” the alert said. “Items that may be considered dangerous by the security services to other ticket holders may be confiscated and or not returned.”
So what are these items? The list of prohibited property at Louis C.K.’s show includes:
The email also informed ticketholders that there would be “a strict camera and mobile phone policy for Louis C.K.”
“No cell phone use, cameras, pictures, recording devices, heckling, talking, or disruptive comments during the show, and fans are asked not to use their mobile phone during the event,” the email warned.
“This means no phone calls, no texting, no internet browsing whatsoever – phones are to be put away.”
While no one wants to have their evening ruined by someone having a conversation on their cellphone it seems like the organizers are going to fight a losing battle if they’re going to ban fans from taking a pre-show selfie.
Nevertheless the organizers say the policy will be “strictly enforced” and that violators “will be ejected from the show without a refund.”
Of course on first read this draconian list of banned items seems a little ridiculous, I mean, who brings silly string to a gig anyway?
But it’s the venue’s strict no cellphone policy that seems to have attracted the most attention on social media. After all, does going to the gig even count if you don’t catch it all on social media?
But maybe we’re all being a little bit too quick to judge. After all, didn’t we all go there to watch the stand-up star do his thing, rather than witness an army of people take pictures of it?
Personally, I’m all for a strict no cellphones policy. As a society we’ve forgotten how to actually enjoy anything any more. Instead of admiring a view, or soaking in an amazing performance, it seems like we can’t wait to turn our backs on the world and snap a selfie in front of it.
So perhaps the strict no phones policy will remind a few people to actually enjoy the show rather than telling everyone how much they are enjoying it on social media. Or maybe I’m just showing my age.