Editor’s note: This video contains NSFW language
It’s easy to assume that the whole ‘no flash photography’ rule at concerts is ignorable, but as the clip above shows, not only can it distract the performer, in some rare cases it might actually be a health hazard.
Musician Ryan Adams has something called Ménière’s disease (aka. endolymphatic hydrops), an inner ear disorder that can lead to episodes of vertigo. For Adams, his symptoms are triggered by flashing lights, and so when the fan in the front row wouldn’t turn off his or her flash, he had to stop the show mid song to… ummm… ask the person to stop.
“I have a disability, it’s called Ménière’s disease,” the irate musician explains. “When you flash me with the camera, I get so dizzy I want to throw up, I can barely stand up straight.”
You can imagine how distracting and even dangerous this might be to a musician who is moving around an elevated stage. So next time you see that “no flash photography” rule, make sure to turn off the flash on your smartphone before you start snapping photos… or better yet, put the smartphone away and enjoy the show.