The Inventor Of The Selfie Stick Explains Why He Supports Music Fest Bans
If you've been to as many music festivals this summer as MTV News has, you'll know that along with fireworks, headdresses and other inflammatory things, selfie sticks are objecta non grata at many an outdoor event.
Well, Coachella and Lollapalooza -- here's the kicker: The de facto inventor of the selfie stick ain't really mad at that.
"When I first started marketing [selfie sticks] 10 years ago that was one of the features that I had in mind -- using them for overhead shots at concerts," the father of selfie sticks, Wayne Fromm, told MTV News. "I had taken them to many in those days as well. It's unfortunate that that is going to be snagged in this whole thing, but we can't legislate common courtesy and respect for others and if in any way they become intrusive to people in the audience or unsafe, then I can understand [banning them]."
"An actual stick -- if it's waving in the air and somebody gets subconsciously into the music more than they realize... it can become dangerous," he added.
It's been a while since Fromm himself took a selfie stick to a concert -- when he last went to see Barenaked Ladies in Toronto in his home state of Canada.
The aforementioned fests reportedly banned the sticks -- as did select museums and Disney World -- citing safety concerns and, in the case of Coachella, a distaste for "narcissists."
Despite the selfie stick's recent booming-yet-infamous success -- apparently something like 100,000 sold last holiday season -- Fromm has had the patent for the device since 2005.
"It's basically a 10-year overnight success," he said. Fromm came up with the idea while on vacation with his daughter in Florence, as he wanted an easy way to take photos of the pair sightseeing. "When I started to do this I was a one-man show with just a small team of people," he added, telling us that the packaging of his product, dubbed the Quik Pod, features photos of both him and his family.
Unfortunately, as popularity of the product reached a fever pitch in 2014 -- necessitating all of that bannage -- so did the copycats.
"The people that were taking my product and the inspiration, they weren't just cloning it, they were taking my images on the original packaging," Fromm told MTV News. "I'm the diver on my packaging on my early Website. My daughter was in all the beach shots. My niece and nephew were in all the other shots. All of those images were hijacked."
So, maybe music fest dudes, we can just ban the ripoffs? You know, if the fest-goers using Fromm's original product do so safely and respectfully?