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Cellphone etiquette during concerts in spotlight as Underwood set to play Fargodome on Saturday

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Cellphone etiquette during concerts in spotlight as Underwood set to play Fargodome on Saturday
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

When Carrie Underwood takes the Fargodome stage here Saturday night, the audience will light up.

But it's not just beaming faces, eager to see the country starlet that will be shining, the glow of iPhones, Androids and other cells are likely to shoot into the air.


Gone are the days when lighters lit up the floor seats and twinkled into the rafters of the bird's eye view.

If today's concert goers want to see the sways of flickering Bics - there's an app for that.

Fargodome Executive Director Rob Sobolik said the traditional "lighter in the air" concept is burnt out, but the light of a cell phone is still bright at concerts, including those made by smartphones with an app that makes the lit screen look like a lit cigarette lighter.

While the tradition stays alive with technology, other uses and simple cell phone etiquette at concerts is a hot topic.

"It's a point of discussion all the time in our industry," Sobolik said of restrictions on cell phones at concert venues.

While common etiquette dictates cell phones should never be held up for extended periods of time, blocking the view of others, the Fargodome does have a strict no-videotaping rule.

Audio and videotaping performances are prohibited, including at Underwood's Saturday show. Sobolik said anyone caught videotaping, including via cell phone is subject to having their phone confiscated.

"It's a case by case basis," Sobolik said. "If the show requires no videotaping, they'll be asked to quit. It all depends on the severity; there are a lot of things that go into it."

Professional cameras and lenses are also not allowed.

Cell photos are allowed, but common courtesy should be kept in mind.

Some artists also find the added lights a distraction.

When Miranda Lambert played the Fargodome in January, some concertgoers were surprised to learn they had to turn in their glow sticks before entering the arena after they were dubbed a "distraction" by the artist.

Aside from video use through cell phones, no fan lighting restrictions have been applied for Saturday's concert, said Jesse Schmidt, Underwood's publicist.

The concert marks her second visit to the Dome.

She drew 10,500 fans in June, 2010.

This time around, the now-married American Idol alum is promoting her "Blown Away" album that went on sale in May and has sold more than a million copies.

The album title track is currently in radio and top 20 playlists everywhere.

Underwood co-wrote eight of the 14 songs on Blown Away, including the first single, "Good Girl," which became her 15th career No. 1 single.

Underwood has told fans that like the album, her 2012 concert series will feature a wide range of tones with plenty of theatrical surprises.

If you go

What: Carrie Underwood's Blown Away concert with opening act Hunter Hayes Concert

Where: Fargodome

Info: Tickets are still available at The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets range in price from $43.50 to $63.50.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530