Selfie Sticks Banned by U.K. Music Venues

Selfie Stick
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People use a selfie stick to take a group photo.

'Stick with the tried-and-tested use of an arm,' one arena spokesperson quips.

They were one of 2014's best-selling Christmas gifts in the U.K., but it seems that selfie sticks are far less popular in the live music business.

London's O2 arena, O2 Academy Brixton and SSE Wembley Arena are among a string of U.K. venues that have banned the devices on health and safety grounds.

"The O2 do not allow selfie sticks into the arena due to safety considerations and so as not to impact the view of other fans. We welcome selfies, but leave the stick at home please," said a spokesperson for the 20,000-capacity O2 arena, Britain's largest indoor venue.

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The Academy Music Group -- which operates and manages 16 U.K. venues, including the O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire and O2 Academy Birmingham -- has taken a similar stance and forbidden the devices in all its venues.

"This is in keeping with our existing policy that prohibits the filming and photography during a performance with iPads and other tablet devices and includes any such obstructions for the satisfaction of other customers," a spokesperson tells Billboard.

Selfie sticks -- extendable phone and camera holders that allow the user to take a wider image or group shot -- are also not welcome at the AEG-operated SSE Arena, Wembley, with a spokesperson for the 13,000-capacity venue stating that while "selfies are a big part of the gig experience, the sticks might mean you are refused entry to the venue."

"Our advice is don't bring them and stick with the tried-and-tested use of an arm," the spokesperson said, tongue planted firmly in cheek.

The curb on selfie sticks in British music venues follows similar measures being implanted in a string of football and sports arenas, including Manchester United's Old Trafford home, Manchester City's Etihad Stadium, Arsenal's Emirates Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur's White Hart Lane.