June 11, 2008
Camera-Shy Birds Of Tokyo
While lining up to attend a show at my favourite Brisbane live music venue last night, I was confronted with some new and conspicuous signage. I’d seen the update on The Zoo’s site last week, but it’d slipped my mind until I re-read in person:
Dear Zoo Patrons,
No recording or photographic equipment is allowed to be brought into the Zoo.
Please do not record the event unless you have gained permission from the venue and the performing act themselves, this also applies to patron crowd shots as well.
Anyone caught doing so, with out pre arranged consent will have their gear confiscated until the end of the night.
Thank you in advance for your understanding on this issue.
All the best,
The band played some new material to a sold-out crowd. Several among the audience decided to film these songs – in “high quality”, so I’m told – and upload the footage to YouTube. The band, who have a new album due later this year, responded by threatening legal action lest The Zoo instate and enforce the camera restrictions for future shows. The videos in question have been removed from YouTube.
- This person paid to buy a ticket to watch Birds Of Tokyo; therefore,
- It’s reasonable to assume that they’re a Birds Of Tokyo fan.
- This fan wanted to share new Birds Of Tokyo material with other Birds Of Tokyo fans throughout the world; the easiest way to do that was to:
- Upload Birds Of Tokyo footage to YouTube.
I don’t think that I need to point out the inherent stupidity in demanding rules be put in place after the act occurred and the band had left the venue. I’d be surprised if The Zoo had anything further to do with Birds Of Tokyo.
An ostensibly friendly action by a Birds Of Tokyo fan has caused wider ramifications upon the Brisbane music scene – specifically, by scaring The Zoo into changing their conditions of entry, which have long been casual and reasonable, much like the venue’s staff.
Why did this happen? Because Birds Of Tokyo are apparently more concerned with shielding their precious new material than encouraging their dedicated fanbase to continue doing what they will always attempt to do – that is, share with fellow fans.
This is an awful strategic decision on Birds of Tokyo’s behalf. It seems that they’ve forgotten that sharing is the essence of being a music fan. Though, bear in mind that I’m taking this hearsay on face value – it could have been a decision made by their record label, their management, or I could be entirely wrong.
National fame and notoriety. Sold-out Australian tours. A Triple J Hottest 100 placing. 10,151 MySpace friends. Why the fuck should Birds Of Tokyo care if a fan uploads a couple of bootleg, unreleased songs online and a couple of thousand people check it out?
Their complete failure to view this occurrence as anything other than an act of positive word-of-mouth marketing from the most influential sector of their community – an actual goddamn Birds Of Tokyo fan – astounds and angers me. It’s irrevocably warped my already-dwindling perception of the band.
This is the price you pay for attempting to control the actions of your fanbase. This is a glaring example of failing to consider an issue in whole before acting.
Thanks for fucking up sixteen years of amicable amateur photography at The Zoo, Birds Of Tokyo.
EDIT 12/06/08 – A discussion about this topic is taking place on the FasterLouder forum.
Comments are closed.