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40+ smartphones stolen during DJ Snake India gig

More than 40 “high end” mobile phones were stolen from revellers during a performance by French producer DJ Snake in Mumbai, India.

Police have made a series of arrests after examining CCTV footage from the “jam-packed” concert, which took place last night (27 November) at the MMRDA Grounds in the Bandra-Kurla Complex.

According to Times Now, backpacks, handbags and other baggage were not allowed inside the venue, and concert-goers were allowed to enter only after verifying their ID cards.

The Hindustan Times reports that six people were taken in for questioning and 15 phones were recovered.

“Three accused are in our custody. The case is currently under investigation and we are probing them further”

“Three accused are in our custody,” says Dikshit Gedam, deputy commissioner of police, zone 8. “The case is currently under investigation and we are probing them further. We are using all technical help to solve the case and make arrests.”

The concert was part of DJ Snake’s India tour, which also took in cities such as Ahmedabad, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad Pune and Bengaluru.

Real name William Sami Étienne Grigahcine, the artist is also set to perform at the Soundstorm Festival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 1 December, followed by shows in Indonesia and Thailand.

Last month, Netherlands police arrested a suspect caught with dozens of phones thought to have been stolen from the Amsterdam Music Festival at the Johan Cruijff Arena on 22 October.


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OnePlus to stream show live from ‘Phone Dome’

Smartphone manufacturer OnePlus has announced a unique livestreamed concert, premiering tonight (4 December), filmed using a ‘Phone Dome’ comprising 74 of its devices.

Not to be outdone by rival Samsung and its vertical stage, the Chinese firm has booked Danish singer Mads Langer to perform inside the igloo-like structure, which stands 4m (13’) tall and is constructed out of 80 interconnected stainless steel tubes, with the show captured by eight gimbal-mounted phones.

A further 16 OnePlus smartphones will provide visuals and background lighting, while the remaining 50 are allocated for VIP ticket holders, which will be connected in a virtual ‘meeting room’ inside the dome.

The Phones are secured to the rig with slim-fitting phone holders in stainless steel. According to OnePlus, the structure took a week to design and a further day to build.

The concert will stream live at 18.00 GMT on OnePlus’s Instagram accounts, as well as Langer’s YouTube channel. Langer is no stranger to innovative concert formats, having played some of Europe’s first drive-in shows in early summer.


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UK concertgoers ‘support mobile phone crackdown’

A majority of people would support greater measures to control mobile phone usage during live shows, according to a new survey of British eventgoers.

According to research conducted by ComRes on behalf of Eventbrite, of the 1,031 UK adults who have attended a ticketed live event in the past 12 months, 70% say they find it irritating when other people take pictures and video during the performance; 69% agree that some action should to be taken to minimise it; and 65% say using their phone to capture images could make them feel as if they were missing out on the event itself.

However, more than a third of respondents say taking pictures or filming is an important part of the live experience.

The research also found that:

The majority of those who have attended a live event in the last year would support some action being taken to manage mobile phone use, such as creating ‘no-phone zones’ (13%), gentle nudges to make phones more discreet (41%) or audience spot-checks for over-filming (17%).

Lee Hadlington, associate professor in cyberpsychology at De Montfort University in Leicester, says the survey shows a contradiction between expectations of other people’s mobile usage and how they see their own behaviour.

“There is a general agreement … that using your phone during a live performance can be detrimental to the live experience”

“You’ve got a paradox,” says Dr Hadlington. “People are saying, ‘It’s OK if I use my phone at an event, because I want to get this special photo, but when someone else does it, that’s really annoying.’”

Of the surveyed industry professionals who offered an opinion, approximately four out of five had concerns about people recording pictures and videos during performances, but a majority (63%) had no measures in place to manage mobile phone use.

Eventbrite’s head of marketing, Katie McPhee, says: “Go to any stadium gig and you’ll be met with a forest of arms holding up mobiles and blocking lines of sight, so people behind feel irritated. Our report confirms that there is a general agreement between audiences, artists and promoters that using your phone during a live performance can be detrimental to the live experience – both for yourself and for those around you – and that it should be managed.

“We hope that our new report provides a starting point for a healthy discussion on how we can all ensure to make the most out of live experiences with or without our mobile phones.”

A similar survey undertaken by Skiddle last year found 27% of gig-goers under 30 thought mobile phones should be banned outright at shows.


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53 mobile phones stolen at Royal Blood Birmingham show

A man has been arrested after 53 mobile phones were stolen at a Royal Blood show at Arena Birmingham on Saturday night.

The phones were recovered by police – who had set up a “proactive” operation at the arena after learning concertgoers had been targeted at previous shows by the band – following the 22-year-old’s arrest.

“It’s unfortunately a reality that large crowds at concerts such as this make rich pickings for career criminals,” says det sgt Jeff Clifford of West Midlands police. “We’re hot on the heels of these offenders, but you can also reduce your chances of falling victim to such crimes by remaining extra vigilant when attending busy events.

“It’s unfortunately a reality that large crowds at concerts make rich pickings for career criminals”

“If you think you had your phone taken, please get in touch with us and we can check whether or not we have been able to recover it.”

A spokesperson for Arena Birmingham, formerly Barclaycard Arena, tells IQ: “We’ve been working closely with West Midlands police regarding the incident on Saturday night, and join them in urging any customers who think they may have had their phone stolen to contact them via 101.”

Police in Germany last August broke up a crime ring responsible for a spate of phone thefts at European festivals.


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Digitally detox at crowdfunded Samphire Festival

A new British festival will aim to help phone addicts kick their habit in July with three days of music, art, drama, comedy and “tech-free” activities such as tree-climbing, stargazing, den-building, yoga and stand-up paddle-boarding.

The first Samphire Festival, promoted by music journalist/DJ Flora Blathwayt and chef/engineer Josh Beauchamp and held in association with Unplugged Weekend, will take place in Exmoor national park in Somerset from 8 to 10 July and encourages festivalgoers to “disconnect to reconnect and enjoy their natural surroundings”.

“I know I’m very often guilty of this, but so often we miss out on special moments because we are too busy documenting them,” says Blathwayt. Anti-tech features at Samphire will include the Rendezvous Bandstand, a chalkboard for messages, and ‘phone police’ to encourage people to keep their phones in their pocket.

Over 40 live acts and DJs will play across two main stages, including reggae band Will and the People, BBC Introducing-backed singer-songwriter Violet Skies, dark-pop duo Ardyn, Ethiopian jazz-funk group Tezeta and 12-piece afrobeat band No Go Stop.

Blathwayt and Beauchamp raised £42,855 from a £20,000 target on Crowdfunder to fund the first festival.