The Coldplay gigs that are impossible to forget (for all the wrong reasons...)
Fans claim glowing wristbands given out at concerts are keeping them awake at night
Adam Sherwin is Media Correspondent at The Independent and an award-winning writer who specialises in covering the entertainment, broadcasting, music and popular culture industries. Previously Media writer and diarist at The Times, he was a co-founder of the Beehive City media and entertainment website. As regular contributor to BBC London 94.9 Radio station, he was named Music Business writer of the year at the awards of influential music industry site Record of the Day in 2006.
Monday 11 June 2012
The coloured wristbands that turn stadiums into a spectacle of flashing lights are the real stars of Coldplay's shows, according to some.
But fans have been spooked after the glow-in-the-dark devices suddenly began flashing of their own accord, days after the event. Producers of Xylobands, given free to two million gig-goers on Coldplay's tour, have moved to assure fans, who took wristbands home, that they have no sinister powers.
The Xylobands use ultra-low-power microcontrollers to receive and process wireless signals that trigger the wristband's LEDs to light up in sync with the music and stage lights show. They cannot be reactivated outside of the show – in theory. But a concert-goer named Denise wrote on the band's web forum:"My xyloband woke me up in the middle of the night and it's still glowing."
Another wrote: "Really weird, my dad's white xyloband just started flashing again." A Belgian fan added: "Mine is alive! It started flickering about an hour ago." A respondent said that the only way to stop the glowing was by jamming a pencil clip into the unit.
The band has invested in RB Concepts, the Devon firm which developed the devices. Although Martin said the cost of producing two million bands for the tour was excessive, the company has received hundreds of requests to use them, from weddings to US sports franchises. Clive Banks, who is the co-founder of RB Concepts, said that the "afterglow" is no cause for concern. "There's no mind control or tracking, they are just for fun," he said.
The devices may be activated by their proximity to a Coldplay concert. "Our record transmission is 2km," Mr Banks said. "It depends on buildings but they have quite a range in a straight line. There might be some faulty units going off."
Fans speculated that the bands had become activated after locking into a particular radio frequency. "They operate on different frequencies in different jurisdictions so we have to get permission to transmit," Mr Banks said. "We have to meet the health and safety requirements. We don't want to interfere with any emergency services."
The Xylobands were designed by Jason Regler of RB Concepts, who approached the band after seeing them play at Glastonbury. There is some hope for fans disturbed by their glowing bands. "They have a battery and a finite life span," Mr Banks said.
Bankable stars: rock's investors
A $90m (£58m) investment in Facebook established an initial value of $1.9bn for the U2 singer's Elevation fund when the social network floated. But Bono played down reports that he was richer than Sir Paul McCartney.
An investor in Turntable.fm, a music-sharing network, Gaga has used her earnings to raise $4m for Backplane, a platform that connects music and sports stars with their fans across various social networks.
Shawn Carter's empire now includes a multimillion-dollar investment in Powermat Technologies, an Israeli wireless recharging company. Jay-Z will be the face of the Duracell Powermat JV, "the company to bring on the revolution".
An early digital pioneer, Gabriel co-founded On Demand Distribution, a precursor to iTunes and made $10m from its 2004 sale. Then he invested in We7, an ad-supported music streaming service.
After playing Facebook investor Sean Parker in The Social Network, Timberlake took a stake in a $35m deal to buy the ailing MySpace from News Corp in 2011 and promised to play a "major role" in its new direction.
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
- 4 Jozef Wesołowski: Former Catholic archbishop found dead ahead of child sexual abuse trial
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
These Harry Potter lipsticks are sparking all sorts of controversy with Hogwarts fans
Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
Game of Thrones season 6: Director promises most exciting premiere yet 'starts off with a bang'
First look at Michael Fassbender as ‘Callum’ in the Assassin’s Creed movie
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs