By Christine Armario
LOS ANGELES — You can bring your beach towels and floral headbands, but forget that selfie stick if you’re planning to go to the Coachella or Lollapalooza music festivals.
The devices, which grasp cellphones to allow people to take pictures of themselves farther away from their faces, are banned at this summer’s festivals in Indio, California, and Chicago. Coachella dismissed them as “narsisstics” on a list of prohibited items.
Selfie sticks have become a popular but polemical photo-taking tool: Avid picture takers like snapping their own shots in front of monuments and sunsets, but critics dismiss them as obnoxious and potentially dangerous to others around them.
A spokeswoman for Coachella would not comment on the restriction. Lollapalooza representatives did not return a request for comment but on the festival’s Twitter account said the decision was being made “for safety, to speed security checks at the gate & to reduce the number of obstructions between the fans and the stage.”
Coachella and Lollapalooza are among dozens of big events and landmarks taking a stand against the sticks.
In the U.S., Ultra Music Festival in Miami, one of the world’s largest electronic music festivals, also prohibited selfie sticks at last weekend’s event.
Wayne Fromm, creator of the Quik Pod and the first to patent the selfie stick more than a decade ago, said he understood the decision for museums and festivals to ban the stick and that the intention was never for the device to be fully extended in busy spaces.
“Intentionally or not, there is a danger to other people in crowded places,” he told The Associated Press.
He added that he is at work on a new selfie-taking tool that will accomplish the same tasks without so many problems.