My name is Sunny Singh, I'm 26 years old, and documenting live music is the single most important thing in my life. Music helps connect people, it helps people overcome challenges in life, and it's a form of communication that predates language. I love documenting the narratives induced by live shows and look forward to sharing what I capture with people all over the world through my website, hate5six.com (the name is a joke for those not familiar with the site). The camera + sickle logo represents not so much communist ideals, but rather my desire to "redistribute" high quality content without the need for commercializing my work.
hate5six.com is a non-commercial project focused on documenting live music and sharing the "live experience" with people all over the world who could not be present at that particular moment in time and space. The sole purpose is to preserve important moments that happen in "underground" music for posterity. Nearly 800 live performances of bands of varying degrees of popularity and size have been documented with their permission since the mid 2000's, and have been viewed nearly 2 million times by people in over 130 different countries. Based on direct feedback, viewers span the gamut from people in countries where bands don't tour, to US armed servicemen and women who want to enjoy their favorite bands and be reminded of home, to people who cannot attend shows due to severe medical conditions. All for free.
On August 25, 2012, "The Bowery Presents" held a highly anticipated reunion show in Brooklyn, NY, for the band Quicksand. I was in attendance documenting the event but was ejected from the venue for having a "recording device" shortly after Quicksand began. Other HD recording devices such as iPhones, Go-Pros, and video-capable DSLR cameras were not subjected to the same degree of censorship. The nebulously defined "recording devices" makes little distinction as to what fundamentally differentiates a "recording".
"The Bowery Presents" staff refused to even have a discussion about the policy, let alone reveal the name of a point of contact in the management office about initiating a dialogue concerning the topic.
Music is an integral part of human communication and the video documentation of it--at least with respect to those of the non commercial variety--should be treated as a form of journalism, free of unsound restriction.
Provided there is approval from the artist in question, "The Bowery Presents" should defer to the artist and allow for any and all forms of non-commercial documentation of said artist's set.
August 28 Update: This is NOT a call to boycott The Bowery Presents, but rather at the very least, a call to open a discussion about this policy to understand why it is in place even when artist permission is granted, and to determine if there is any room for handling video documentation on a case-by-case basis rather than a blanket policy.
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