Cell Phones Are Ruining Circuit Parties
Written by Steve Weinstein
The Black Party came in for some controversy for the long lines during the peak arrival time, roughly 1 to 3:30 a.m. The reason was that security guards were thoroughly scouring people’s clothes and bags.
Drugs? No, although not allowed, that was not the direct target of the search. Weapons? Come on, this is a gay party. Chewing gum? Don’t laugh; for a while at the old Twilo, they were taking away gum in a fruitless attempt to preserve the purity of the flooring.
No, the contraband they were seeking — and confiscating — were cell phones. Attendees who had cell phones that were found saw them placed in a plastic bag, marked with their name and stored until they claimed them as they left.
Many people complained, and it’s true that the Saint at Large, the producing organization, should have put more people on security detail, something the producer vows to do next year. But it wasn’t only the long lines that had people peeved. It was the loss of their digital security blanket.
Once inside Roseland Ballroom, however, people did something that was refreshing and new. They lived. They experienced. They became involved. They didn’t post to Facebook. They didn’t text their significant other. They didn’t call their parents across the country. Most important, they didn’t take photos.
This last is crucial, because the Black Party is the Las Vegas of parties: What goes on there, stays there. That has always been a mantra, but in these days when an instant Facebook posting of someone in a compromising public sexual position could ruin that person’s life, it takes on an added urgency.
I’ll go further and echo what a West Coast producer said: Cell phones are ruining dance parties. It’s not only the incessant clatter, clatter, clatter of the keyboard or the distracting green-tinted gleam. It’s the way people bunch up on the dance floor for photos. You aren’t in Atlantic City, people! You’re on a crowded dance floor! And anyway, there are plenty of photographers — from this website and elsewhere — taking professional party pictures for posting.
I understand that people are uncomfortable traveling without their cell phones. I mean, we’re talking about the middle of New York City in the middle of the night. And many people, for several reasons (handsome ones, I hope) will not be going directly home. But this claptrap about how people “need” their phones to get in touch with their friends who have wandered away is a hollow argument.
What did we do before cell phones? I remember. We danced. Sometimes, we scoured the dance floor for a familiar face. Just as often, we followed Stephen Sills song, and if we couldn’t be with the one we loved, we loved the one we were with. In other words, we met people. Sometimes tricks, sometimes momentary dance-floor shenanigans, sometimes even lovers, and sometimes friends.
I know it’s not going to happen, but I would be perfectly happy if every club were as eager to take away patrons’ cell phones as they are to fish out their bumpers and water bottles.
way to go!!!!
i hope that keeping phones at the door becomes more acceptable and a trend, the phone thing is irritating and out of control
By tina Crapsi on 07-10-2011
I try not take my cell out because it bugs me when I am dancing. my jeans are tight and I like to not be contantly reminded of my iphone jammed against my leg while I am dancing. And usually everyone I care about is in the club with me so I don’t need to call or text anyone….
By Joey on 07-18-2011
I think it stupid to confiscate ones phone or rather juvenile….
By Paul M. on 07-24-2011
The way to go ...hope it catches on everywhere…...time to have a great time with friends in the present moment
By Harold & Ron on 06-14-2012
Funny how they claim privacy concerns at the Black Party with cameras and cell phones, yet as they state they have professionals taking pictures and filming all night. I recently saw a documentary (Strange Live Acts) with footage of 3 performers having sex on a stage, 4 of my friends clearly visible to the side. That’s some good privacy.
By David on 04-18-2013