Dave Chappelle Has Phone-Free Zone For His Shows Through Partnership With Tech Startup

Comedian Dave Chappelle seems to be fed up with people recording his shows and sharing his material on the Internet. Chappelle recently tapped tech startup Yondr, which makes cell phone cases that prevent people from using their phones, to help ensure audience members are more engaged during his performance at Thalia Hall in Chicago.

For Chappelle’s 13 sold-out shows at Thalia Hall, attendees will have to place their phones inside of Yondr’s smartphone sleeves before entering the venue, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Their phones will lock upon entering the phone-free zone, which presumably will be near the stage where Chappelle is performing.


“Chappelle has always been a big advocate of creating a phone-free show so that he, and others, can perform without a fear of content leaking,” Geoffrey Hutchinson of Yondr told TechCrunch over email. “The deal came into place on short notice as his team and the venue looked for options to facilitate the phone-free experience. They were considering other cellphone free options, but nothing allowed people to actually keep their phones with them.”

Comedian Hannibal Buress, as well as electronic artist ZHU, have also used Yondr’s technology at their shows. When asked about future plans with Chappelle, Yondr said specifics of the deal could not be disclosed at this time.