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Hoping For Star Exclusives, Fans Throw Smartphones at Concert Stages

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One Direction at the Wells Fargo Center in June 2013 (credit: Ian Bush)

One Direction at the Wells Fargo Center in June 2013 (credit: Ian Bush)

Ian Bush Ian Bush
Ian Bush is an anchor, reporter, news editor, and technology editor&nb...
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By KYW tech editor Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — You’ve already spent a ton of cash on a concert ticket — so why would you want to throw away another couple hundred bucks? That’s the question being asked at the Wells Fargo Center and other venues, which are witnessing the start of what could be a new trend.

Sarah loves One Direction.

“Harry is my favorite,” she explains. “But I like them all a lot.”

So much, the teen would sacrifice her iPhone 4S.

“I decided to throw my phone on stage right before the last song,” Sarah said, in the hopes of having one of 1D maybe take a picture or video.

She got the idea after watching YouTube videos of fans chucking their phones at the British-Irish band during a performance — with success: Louis picks up the device and calls someone.

“I think people started throwing underwear at Mick Jagger many years ago,” says Comcast Spectacor spokesman Ike Richman. “But this is taking it to a whole new level.”

Richman says security staff at the Center were stunned to see smartphones hurtling through the air — some with protective cases, others with a sock to cushion the blow, and still more with nothing between the glass and the stage (or a performer’s head).

“You risk possibly hurting somebody,” Richman says. “You risk maybe not even getting your phone back.”

Sarah had a case, which broke when it made contact with the stage.

“I didn’t really care if the glass broke, I guess, because I thought it’d be worth it if they took it.”

She got hers back, after …

“Harry texted my mom.”

And followed Sarah on Twitter. No penalty from the parental units — just disbelief.

“She asked me why in the world I would throw my phone and how could I be that stupid?” Sarah reveals. “But I told her it worked out, didn’t it?”

Sarah, whose experience came at the One Direction show in Raleigh, NC in June, didn’t get grounded. Instead, her story spurred a social media explosion.

“I got 4000 new Twitter followers just for being followed by Harry,” she says. “I got followed by him, I got a text, and my phone case was in his shirt, so I’d say it’s a pretty good deal.”

Richman says please don’t let this become a “thing.”

“We’ll certainly work with the artists and with security to make sure that kind of incident does not happen again.”

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