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Carnegie Hall concert goes on, after strike canceled performance

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Dumb rule: Banning smartphone concert pictures

A strike by stagehands forced the cancellation, but the union temporarily suspended its strike on Thursday, allowing the concert hall to open its doors for now. A union leader told Reuters he was optimistic the two sides could reach a permanent deal by Friday. The dispute hangs on whether the stagehands – mostly prop-makers, carpenters and electricians – should have a role in a new educational wing that the Carnegie Hall Corp plans to open above the hall next year. The corporation wants to hire cheaper labor at the education wing. Negotiations with the union took an unprecedented turn on Wednesday when Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees decided to go on strike for the first time in the history of Carnegie Hall. However, when James Claffey, president of Local 1, emerged from negotiations on Thursday afternoon, he announced the union had agreed to pull down the picket line for the day, citing progress in the talks. “This is a goodwill gesture towards Carnegie Hall,” said Claffey, whose local has negotiated some of the most lucrative pay in the industry. He later said further progress had been made, and that even though picketing would continue, he hoped to reach a deal by Friday. Carnegie Hall’s five full-time stagehands make an average of $400,000 per year including benefits, The New York Times reported, citing the organization’s tax returns. Claffey said there were many more stagehands represented by the union who work only sporadically. “This dispute is not about those employees,” Claffey said.

If youre going to take a photo, do it fast and sit down. Overzealous security While artists are setting these rules, promoters and concert venues should be concerned that photo enforcers are unnecessarily antagonizing fans. Its one thing for security officers to keep the rowdies in check; its another for them to ruin your experience by hovering around and giving you the evil glare and threats of ejection (as I got when I admittedly broke the rules at Dylans show and tried three times to take pictures. I guess I did need a weatherman to know which way the wind was blowing). But at Steely Dan, a fan behind me who wasnt taking pictures kept getting inadvertently flashed in the eye by an overzealous security officer. He let loose with a string of expletives worthy of an audition for a Scorsese movie. His night was ruined. I can guarantee you what he thinks about when he thinks about Steely Dan. So, I would turn it around and ask performers: How does a smartphone irritate you any more than everything else you see at concerts drunks, chit-chatters, random projectiles, people yelling Free Bird for the millionth time? A concert, to a reasonable extent, is about freedom. Letting loose of your cares.