Peter Maxwell Davies suggests fines for mobile phone interruptions

Concert-goers whose telephones ring should be fined, says composer

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has said that audience members should be fined when their mobile phones ring in concerts. The composer branded people whose mobiles went off during performances 'artistic terrorists'.

Maxwell Davies's comments came after mobiles went off at least three times during a concert at the St Magnus Festival in Orkney, of which he is the founder. Similar incidents continued to occur later in the festival, despite the festival director’s personal plea for mobiles to be turned off during performances.

The composer has said he plans to write to phone companies to ask how such a penalty system could be introduced.

Speaking to the BBC, he said mobile interruptions were ‘very distracting and very unfair on the audience and the players particularly. I would just love to see something where people would be fined... and that the money went to the Musicians' Benevolent Fund.’

Earlier this year, Sir Peter complained about ‘moronic muzak’, saying ‘we should all give peace a chance and we need more of it in our lives, not less. Muzak is killing our capacity to enjoy peace and silence. If I hear piped music being played to supposedly soothe me as I wait on the phone I put the receiver down.’

Rosie Morshead

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