Lane 8 talks about banning cell phones at concerts, what makes a great festival and more
What makes a great electronic music festival? Daniel Goldstein has a few ideas.
“When we’re actually on site, it’s simple stuff,” said the producer and DJ known as Lane 8, who performed at Tampa’s Sunset Music Festival in May. “Attention to detail; meeting people where they’re supposed to be, when they’re supposed to be there; is the stage running on time; is the equipment all there; is the stage decorated in a way that’s nice, or just kind of random.”
As for what makes a great EDM concert, Goldstein has one big idea: No cell phones.
That’s the conceit of Lane 8’s new “This Never Happened” tour, which hits the Ritz Ybor on Saturday. Upon entering, fans will have their cell cameras taped up, and the venue will be plastered with flyers warning them not to pull out their phones, take photos or otherwise engage with social media.
“I like to use my cell phone just as much as the next guy, so it’s nothing personal,” he said. “It’s just that we feel this is the best way for us to play a show and for fans to experience the show.”
Goldstein and his wife (who’s also his manager) came up with the idea after a performance in the Caribbean, aboard the EDM-themed cruise Holy Ship!.
“There’s absolutely no cell phone service anywhere, so most people, while we were on that ship, didn’t use their phones and didn’t bring them out,” Goldstein said. “We noticed how amazing the show was, because people were so much more into it, just really loving and appreciating the music and being in that moment.”
Goldstein tried the concept at a show in San Francisco this summer, and liked it so much that he expanded it into both a tour and an event production company. He’ll use the “This Never Happened” tour as a test for how artists can better engage their fans in a live setting, and vice versa.
“The first thing to see is, was the tour successful compared to what we’ve done in the past?” he said. “Was it a step forward? Did we draw bigger crowds than we did before in these cities? And then the show itself, did it feel good? Did it feel like people connected? Did it feel like people participated willingly within the concept, or was it more of a struggle?
“There’ll be a big emphasis on our observations of the actual shows. Those things will kind of all come into play with what we want to do next in deciding whether this whole thing was a success or not.”
As for Goldstein, where will he have his cell phone on Saturday?
“Sometimes I have it because I need to check the time to make sure that I end on time, especially at festivals,” he said. “But usually nowadays they have clocks on stage, so I usually just leave it in my backpack.”
Tickets to Saturday's show start at $15. Click here for details.
-- Jay Cridlin