Research Pitch: Past Vs. Present Media Use at Live Events

To what extent has the impact of modern media use influenced the ways in which we experience Live Events?

For as long as I have been going to Concerts and Live Events, there have been digital cameras or phones, to capture the moments and memories of what is taking place at that point in time. I went to my first concert with my older sisters in 2008, it was Chris Brown and Rihanna (before the whole domestic violence debacle) and I remember them texting on their phones, taking pictures with their digital cameras (the weapon of choice for getting that prime pic) and updating their Myspace profiles with dark, blurry photos taken from the nosebleed section. I can recall being annoyed that they weren’t paying full attention to the concert, but then calming down at the thought of having photographic evidence of such a cool experience to show my friends at primary school the next week. When I attend concerts now, I always catch myself whipping out my iPhone in order to catch a video of my favourite song to send to all of my friends or put it onto my SnapChat story – but every single time I get so frustrated with myself for fussing with my phone and not just enjoying the moment that I have spent a lot of time and money in order to be in.

When thinking about topics to research that would reflect the relationship that media has in space and the impact this can have on the way people interact with real life experiences, I immediately thought of that time in 2008, and consequently, every other concert I attended after it, because I have never been able to fully work out why it is that people, including myself I’ll shamefully admit, would rather spend the majority of their time watching a Live event through a device.

In Week 2 of this subject we participated in an ethnographic exercise, discussing television memories with older consultants, gaining an insight into the parts that media and technology have played throughout the course of history. I thoroughly enjoyed this research method and I intend to use it throughout the course of my investigation into the reasons and ways that people engage with media at live events. I would also like to incorporate traditional research techniques such as Surveys and perhaps even conduct a focus group if time allows.

In terms of defining a demographic for my research, I have come across a slight difficulty. My problem is that I would like to interview people from past generations and gain their perspective on engaging in live entertainment without the interference of modern media use and then compare it to the experience of attending a concert today. To do this I will need to consult individuals who have both had the benefit of attending concerts prior to the release of technology such as smartphones, tablets and digital cameras, and the luxury to do so in a modern or current context. I would also like to consult people from my own generation who have only ever known a time where instead of being told to “put your lighters in the air”, it’s been a polite request to “turn your phone’s onto flash”.





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