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No filter: why vertical stages are a pain in the neck

As the planet reels from one existential crisis to the next, it is comforting to know there are people literally reshaping the world to make it easier for us to use our smartphones.

If you’ve ever tried recording live music on your phone and wondered why – oh why?! – stages have to be horizontal, then, discombobulating as it is to type, you were not alone.

The upshot is this: vertical stages are now a thing.

This ‘innovation’ means drummers and bass players get an equal share of the limelight and the glowworm in your peripheral vision can post their footage in a social-media friendly format.

Rejoice! Said nobody. Ever.

R&B star Mabel was the first artist to perform on a stage designed, specifically, to look good on SnapChat and Instagram and, yes, this sentence is every bit as depressing as it sounds.

The gig, according to the press statement, celebrated the opening of Samsung KX – ‘London’s new destination to experience the latest in culture and innovation, powered by Samsung technology’.

It is sad enough that people want to watch live performances through the filter of a mobile-phone, but to actively encourage such cretinous behaviour suggests a stark reversal of priorities.

It is saying that the fascimile is more important than the reality. Even worse, that the very purpose of a live event is to create something that looks good when it is not live. Bigly sad.

Practically, it’s a silly idea, too.

For while tiered stages might fit handily into your viewfinder, this is only the case if you’re in Row Z. If you’re near the front you’re going to have to get creative or have a seriously craned neck.

It will be interesting to see what other applications, if any, meeting and event planners will find for vertical stages. Will we see vertical panel discussions perhaps? You tell me…