Survey: Concert Attendees Basically Take Too Many Photos

Western Digital recently finished a really interesting study about the way that people take pictures at concerts and festivals. Most people opt for smartphones (which isn’t surprising), and they often end up running out of storage. On top of that, they hate deleting images on their phone because it’s like deleting a memory. They want everything recorded.

Sad in some ways because it means that you can be spending so much time trying to document the moment vs experiencing it…yes, I know. But it gets even more interesting when you consider how much they actually really value these photos.

infographic music festival 2

Other interesting stats:

  • 1/3 people believe a good photo is worth more than the price of the admission ticket. Which is very interesting and continues to feed the machine of concerts taking free photos for promotion; something that Mike Lerner and other photographers often talk about.
  • 76% of people don’t have enough room on their phone usually. Part of this can be in part to the fact that most folks opt for the standard and cheapest version of a phone that they can get or don’t pay for cloud storage.

The study cites that it surveyed more than 1,000 music festival goers across the United States and “analyzed the importance of taking photos and videos at music festivals, the problems people tend to run into and how they cope with it.”


Music festivals in the U.S. have gained popularity, with 28 percent of all Americans now attending them. Virtually everyone (96 percent of the respondents) will take photos or video of the event and 83 percent of the respondents said it’s one of the main reasons they bring a charged smart phone. The content tends to be seen as “priceless” by almost three of four people surveyed because of the memories and emotions a good photo or video evokes.

Interestingly enough, only 65% of those people say that it’s important to have a way to back up the content. This is weird, as I really don’t understand why you’d take a photo just to see it disappear and not want to remember that moment forever. Further, 22% have lost photos because of a lost, stolen or broken phone at a music festival.

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While almost everyone (87 percent) surveyed feels frustrated when they run out of space on their phone and miss capturing a memorable moment, 61 percent of women feel disappointed and 26 percent of people surveyed felt stupid when it happened to them.” according to the study. “More than half – 56 percent – would rather miss their train home than miss a selfie with their favorite musician.”

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X Pro 1 review images mxpx (17 of 22)ISO 6400

In fact, more people will delete a photo instead of getting some sort of extra storage. Why? Apparently they’re deleting a memory (even though it’s most likely possible that they’ve got millions of them. The specific vernacular used in the study states:

The most common “fix” is choosing to delete something in the moment, which detracts from the entire experience and is stressful to 76 percent of people surveyed, most of whom say it’s like deleting a memory (67 percent). While selfies are the first to go (with 69 percent of respondents sacrificing them), more than half (58 percent) believe they would delete something that later became a favorite.

Perhaps all this research makes a lot of sense with the trend of WiFi hard drives that have been popping up in the past couple of years. But what the survey doesn’t really seem to address is how educated these people are on actually taking photos or whether or not they’re just snapping away until they hope that they get something good–which is probably the case.

One solution: teaching someone how to actually take a photo that will mean something to them later on. That way, they take less photos and spend more time actually enjoying the moment instead. Education, as we’ve seen in all things, is more important than any piece of gear that you carry.


Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.