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Kevin Hart: Fans kicked out for using mobile phones at gigs

By Tom Gerken
BBC News

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionHart has starred in box office hits like The Secret Life of Pets and 2017's Jumanji

Kevin Hart has split opinion as a "zero tolerance" mobile phone ban at his UK gigs left some people out of pocket.

Fans were left frustrated with the US comedian's strict policy as some claimed they were removed from the venue for as little as sending a text.

But others saw the funny side as they reported sightings of so-called "cell phone security" around the O2 Arena on Sunday.

And one person keen to share a snap of their experience on social media was forced to resort to more primitive means.

It is not the first time phones have been banned at gigs - but it might be the dawning of a new age of enforcement.

Chris Rock fans will recall a similar ban as they were forced to keep their mobile phones in a locked pouch while at his shows last year.

But Hart's ban does not include any such technology - instead relying on so-called "cell phone security" to police the venue and enforce the rule.

Fans were warned in advance of the ban, which has applied to Hart's entire UK tour.

O2 advised attendees that "anyone caught using a phone or camera before or during the show will be ejected with no refund", with the other tour venues issuing similar warnings.

And one fan shared a picture of a leaflet apparently handed out at the show reinforcing the rules.

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Some fans did not expect the rules to be so strictly enforced, as one person reported being removed from a show for sending "a five word text" to her mother.

Vibe Tickets founder Luke Massie called the decision "ridiculous" and said that fans "should be entitled" to use mobile phones during a gig.

Others were less understanding and pointed out that it was repeatedly stated that phones were prohibited inside the auditorium.

One person joked that there were "about 500 warnings" to put away mobiles, while another said that he "loved" the blanket ban on phones.

And Twitter user Luke Robinson was so enamoured with the experience that he urged other comedians to follow the same rule.

Meanwhile, the "cell phone police" were not able to spot everyone that broke the rules, with one pair "living life dangerously" by taking a risky snap at the show.

But this was not a risk that unofficial Kevin Hart artist Bruce Daisley was willing to take, as he produced an analogue "selfie" of his trip to the show.

Related Topics

  • Stand-up comedy
  • Mobile phones
  • Kevin Hart
  • Comedy

More on this story

  • Should phones be banned at gigs?