North Stars

Should She & Him Have Banned Photos at Toronto Urban Roots Festival?

Soraya Roberts
North Stars

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M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel perform as the musical duo She & Him. (Gary Miller/WireImage)

Neither she nor he -- nor most anyone else -- was allowed to take photos at the She & Him concert in Toronto last week. Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, the musicians who make up the band She & Him, forbadeToronto fans from snapping them as they headlined the Toronto Urban Roots Festival (TURF) on July 4.

"At the request of Matt and Zooey, we ask that people not use their cell phones to take pictures and video, but instead enjoy the show they have put together in 3D," a sign read at the first night of the festival.

Frank Yang, music blogger (and photographer) at chromewaves.net, tweeted that there were only five accredited photographers in the pit for the show.

"No audience photo has been their policy since day one, five years ago, M. Ward even longer," he wrote. "Minimal media exception."

According to Postmedia entertainment editor Jonathan Dekel, Deschanel's manager said, "Zooey doesn't want to see phones!" He added that the venue staff informed the crowd that they would be "kicked out" if they took photos of the "New Girl" star.

Meanwhile, Ward, on July 1, retweeted a message from a fan that read, "The best way to capture a memory is through your mind not a camera."

But don't think this rule is reserved for Canadians. The Huffington Post reported that the same sign was up for the She & Him show at Central Park's SummerStage on Saturday.

Last year, NPR.org noted that even when he is not part of She & Him, M. Ward prefers not to have photos taken at his gigs. "Tonight, no photography or videos. Including cell phones," read a sign at the 9:30 Club, where he performed in May 2012. After NPR tweeted, "Seriously?" singer Neko Case (who also performed at TURF this weekend), responded, "Just put the phone away and watch the show. That IS why he is traveling THOUSANDS of miles to play."

In response, NPR's Bob Boilen wrote, "The idea of being at a club or a public event, standing around and not being able to silently share seems almost old fashioned to me. In fact, I'm frankly more bothered by constant chatter by inattentive, uninterested, disengaged attendees than by a fan sharing a pic or texting a friend. A photo or a short video is a great way to share the passion now and relive the show years later."

Do you like taking photos at music shows? Or do you agree with She & Him's ban on concert photography? Post your opinion in the comments.

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