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"It definitely does change the atmosphere": Lane 8 on why he banned cellphones at shows

Lane 8 performing.

Matthew Enbar (Menbar Photos) for Made Event

NEW YORK -- Lane 8, an American DJ whose real name is Daniel Goldstein, launched a cellphone-free tour in 2016 called "This Never Happened." He was recently reminded of the cellphone ban's impact when he performed at a show in Brooklyn that didn't impose one.

"It definitely does change the atmosphere," he said.

Describing his motivation for the ban, he said, "It's really hard to be in the moment and experience things organically."

He said that there is so much pressure -- whether "real or just perceived to make your life look really cool for Instagram" -- that there is "sort of a lack of actually living things that are happening right in front of you."

"Rather than actually having fun experiences and enjoying yourself, it's really trying to control the perception of your life and the perception of your whole identity," Goldstein said. 

With "This Never Happened," which is also the name of his record label, Goldstein aims to make audiences feel completely present.

"That's something that we've tried to focus on -- trying to get people back into like just connecting with music and like how awesome that can be," he said. "That's what made me fall in love with electronic music in the first place -- just like going out and having a crazy night with friends with music, and just going crazy."

Earlier this month, Goldstein got a taste of playing in a phone-friendly crowd when he performed at a sold-out, 6,000-person open air festival at the Brooklyn Mirage, a venue in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. 

"It's kind of funny to see to see the other side of it," he said, when asked about playing the massive show that allowed cellphones. "It kind of highlights to me sometimes how different our events are to a lot of other stuff out there. Because when you do take phones out of the equation, it definitely does change the atmosphere." 

Concert attendee Jessica Boff, however, didn't appear to have any gripes with the show, despite that it included cellphones.  

"It took you on a musical journey that mirrored the emotional highs and lows of life. It was really beautiful and well put together," she said.  

And Goldstein himself doesn't leave any illusions about his reliance on technology. When asked which three items he would bring if he were to be marooned on a remote island, he said one of them would be a Kindle.