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Dave Chappelle and other Stars with the 'No Phone Rule'

 Dave Chapelle during a past performance. [Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]

The highly anticipated performance tonight by renowned comedian Dave Chappelle will enforce a strict no-phone rule, according to the organizers, Punchline Comedy Club Nairobi.

Dave Chappelle is set to perform at the Louis Leakey Auditorium, National Museum of Kenya, for a sold-out 7 PM show. Fans will have their phones locked away, with rule breakers facing ejection from the event.

A caption on the show’s poster notes: “No cellphones, cameras, or recording devices will be allowed at this show. Upon arrival, all phones and smartwatches will be secured in Yondr pouches that will be unlocked at the end of the show.”

“Guests maintain possession of their phones throughout the night, and if needed, may access their phones at designated Yondr unlocking stations in the lobby. Anyone caught with a cellphone in the venue will be immediately ejected. We appreciate your cooperation in creating a phone-free viewing experience.”

The statement further notes that Pilot Boy Productions, Inc. and/or Dave Chappelle own all rights to the content and materials, including any jokes and sketches (the “Materials”), delivered during his performance.

Organizers warn that the materials may not be copied, translated, transmitted, displayed, distributed, or reproduced verbatim (the “Use”), in whole or in part, in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed, without the express prior written consent of those who own the rights.

That Dave Chappelle has a no-phone policy at his events is not new; it is a stance he takes to protect his work from being recorded and distributed without permission.

The renowned comedian takes this rule so seriously that he even stormed off stage after spotting fans with their phones out at a gig in Florida late last year.

Daily Mail reports: “The Emmy winner notified security about the flagrant flouting of the rules and scolded the audience before shaking his head as he exited the stage.”

“Fans forked out $100 (over Sh 13,000) a ticket to see the Chappelle's Show star perform at the venue, which holds up to 7,000 people, located about 20 miles north of Miami Beach.”

The celebrated funny man told Jimmy Kimmel in an interview that protecting his content and avoiding distractions are some of the reasons he doesn’t allow recording at his shows.

“It became a thing where I would get on stage and see a sea of cellphones. So I knew that everything I was saying in the room, I was saying to everybody, whether they were in the room or not,” Chappelle said, adding, “which is not an empowering feeling as a comedian.”

And he’s not alone, as more stars have adopted the same policy, from comedians to singers. Here are some stars who don’t allow the use of phones or recording devices at their performances.


A few years back, BBC Entertainment reported that Beyoncé specifically requests fans not to use phones at her concerts, although she hasn’t been strict on enforcing the rule.

“Grammy award winner Beyoncé has asked fans to stop using their phones during her gigs before—but not completely banned them. During a concert in Atlanta, she told people to 'put your camera down!' and enjoy her music.”

When she performed for the first time in four years at her private concert in Dubai last year, fans were told not to use their phones and given designated pouches in which to put their phones for safekeeping, per The Cut.

But not all audiences honoured Bey’s wishes, with footage of her performance leaking and going viral on social media.

 Beyonce [Instagram]

Alicia Keys

Renowned RnB singer Alicia Keys banned phones and recording devices at her concerts back in 2016.

It was a time when more stars were beginning to take control of their image in an era of the love of technology and increased phone usage.

“They're not actually preventing attendees from entering the arena with the devices. But they are preventing them from using them, with the help of a small case that makes it impossible to access the phones during a show,” Today.com reported.

 Alicia Keys [Instagram]

Chris Rock

Celebrated comedian Chris Rock reportedly caused a stir when he banned the use of phones during his 2018 tour, a policy he has continued to uphold through the years.

“Fans attending his Total Blackout tour had their devices locked away in special pouches—Rock is said to consider them 'a major intrusion' on his performance,” BBC Entertainment reports.

“Customers were warned that phones, cameras, or recording devices would not be allowed at the gigs when tickets went on sale in May [2017].”

The comedian is strict about enforcing the policy too, as reported by CBS News.

When Will Smith’s Oscar’s 2022 slap was still the hottest topic on the blogs, only those who paid for and attended Chris Rock’s next show would know if he would talk about it at all.

“There is a no cellphone policy at Rock's show at the Wilbur Theater, and the security team isn't leaving it up to the audience; it is using top-notch technology to make sure people cannot access their phones at Chris Rock's show Wednesday,” CBS News reported at the time.

“When event-goers enter the theater, their phones will be secured inside of an individual pouch made by a company called Yondr. The pouch locks, so that while the audience members can keep their phones with them, they can't open the pouches while they are in an area where cellphones are not allowed. As soon as an audience member steps into a cellphone zone, the pouch will unlock and allow the phone to be removed.”

 Chris Rock [Instagram]


According to CNN Entertainment, more stars continue to enforce the no phone rule at their events, with many asking audiences to “live in the moment.”

The report lists, along with Chappelle and Rock, more comedians including Amy Schumer and Hannibal Buress.

It notes that singers like Madonna, Jack White, and The Lumineers band add to the list of performers who use the policy.

“Looking into the audience and not seeing iPhones and cameras flashing, but instead—eyes, smiles, and happy human faces,” Madonna wrote on Instagram. “People who ignore my request are not allowing [fans] to enjoy the show completely but also show a lack of respect and consideration for my wishes. If you can’t live without your phone for 2 hours—this experience is not for you.”

 Madonna [Instagram]


The Grammy-winning artist was one of the stars who took up the no-phone rule early, doing so back in 2016.

Self Magazine reports that she stopped her performance in Italy midway that year to ask a fan to stop recording.

"Adele wasn't having it, so she paused the show to say, 'I want to tell that lady as well, can you stop filming me with a video camera because I'm really here in real life?' She also shared some wisdom with the fan that can be applied to all areas of life in this Instagram-obsessed world: 'You can enjoy it in real life, rather than through your camera.'"

"Could you take your tripod down?" she continued. "This isn't a DVD, this is a real show and I'd really like you to enjoy my show because there are lots of people outside who couldn't come in."

 Adele [Instagram]

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