According to Classic Rock Magazine, SONISPHERE bosses ran an April Fool joke this morning, claiming they were going to ban the use of mobile phones across the festival site at Knebworth Park in July.
And despite the fact that many fans saw through the spoof, the idea generated plenty of discussion and garnered a great deal of support.
Event organisers took part in the annual tradition by saying: “Fans holding mobile phones and tablets aloft to video gigs is an increasingly familiar sight. But it can annoy both bands and other fans, while many people bemoan the fact they attend gigs with friends only to find their companions spend the whole time checking their social media feeds. Sonisphere wants to put a stop to this by going entirely phone free.”
A spokesman was quoted as saying: “We have lockers set up with a camera exchange scheme. If you want to take pictures you can leave your phone in the locker and and swap it for one of our more traditional film cameras. They are great fun.”
But the light-hearted idea struck a nerve – while some fans reacted online in fury, others voiced their support on the festival’s Facebook page.
Jamie Hickey wrote: An April Fool that’s actually a good idea!” Rachel Findlay said: “This is clearly a joke but it’s actually a really good idea! Being vertically challenged it’s hard enough to see as it is, let alone with some complete bellend in front of you with their phone shoved right in your line of vision for 20 minutes.”
Cider Scates commented: “Sick of having to watch my favourite bands through the phones and iPads of others. If you want to watch the gig through a screen, stay at home.”
Michael Muir added: “If you thought this was real please hand back your Sonisphere tickets and go to V instead – think you’d fit in there.”
This year’s Sonisphere celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first festival at Knebworth and it’s headlined by Iron Maiden, Metallica and The Prodigy.