Petition to allow fans to continue photographing 2CELLOS performances
This letter is on behalf of 2CELLO fans from around the world. We are writing due to an issue that has recently arisen around one of the 2CELLO’s most ardent fans, Katerina Levine. Katerina has been a driving force behind promoting the band and bringing new fans into the wonderful fold of the Celloverse. Katerina attends nearly every 2CELLOs show, even traveling overseas at great personal cost to attend the European concerts as well as the Australian tours. She is usually seated in the front row and has always taken stunning, high-quality photographs of Luka, Stjepan, and Dusan to share with fans around the world through multiple fan pages, Twitter accounts, and various other social platforms. She freely shares these photos with the band, and on many occasions all three of them have reposted, tweeted, and Instagrammed her photos to thousands of fans, spreading the joy of seeing these amazingly talented musicians perform live with people who might not otherwise have that opportunity. Several fans from around the world have expressed extreme gratitude for these photographs, as it is widely felt that the band does not do nearly enough to promote their image or get pictures of themselves out there for fans to share and enjoy. For some fans, in countries like South Africa, where the band has yet to tour, these photographs are one of the only ways for them to enjoy what the rest of the fans around the world have the privilege to experience live.
It has come to our attention that during the show at the Long Center in Austin, Texas, it seems that Katerina was repeatedly harassed, both physically and verbally, by the venue staff, and asked to delete the photos she had taken, despite the fact that Miro, Stjepan, Luka, and Dusan are all well aware of the fact that she takes photos, and have never expressed any issue with this. What could have been easily resolved by having the venue staff speak to any of the band members or Miro was instead turned into a rather unnecessarily ugly situation that left Katerina quite shaken and upset. This in itself is rather disgraceful, considering again the amount of personal time and money Katerina has invested in helping to promote this band with no expectation of anything other than the occasional expression of gratitude, however we have since learned that an unidentified party has taken it upon themselves to contact future venues on the tour to inform them of Katerina, labeling her a ‘trouble-maker’ and advising them to not allow her to take photographs of the band. We cannot be certain who took this action, but it would seem to be someone who was involved with the debacle at the Long Center.
Not only is this a reprehensible way to treat a fan who has personally invested thousands of dollars in following and promoting the band, but it is damaging to the promotion of the band itself. As stated earlier, several fans feel that the band does not do nearly enough to promote themselves, and one of the areas that many fans find lacking is visual representation. In many interviews, both Stjepan and Luka state that they are a visual experience as much as anything else, hence their admirable goal of filming a video for every track on the latest album. However, videos do not fully encapsulate the visual world and the only professional photos of the band that are distributed are few and far between and do not always capture the true essence of Stjepan, Luka, and Dusan, especially the intensity and fervor of their live performances. Katerina fills this void for fans, and her photographs are shared and spread all over the world, from fans in Japan to South Africa, from Australia and New Zealand to France, from Canada to Ecuador, and all points in between. To not allow her to take photographs means that you are depriving tens of thousands of fans all over the world of the opportunity to share in the joy of a live 2CELLOs show and to share their love of this magnificent trio.
We live in a technological age where musicians grow and thrive based on their online presence. One person shares a photograph on their Twitter and suddenly 3,000 people are being exposed to something they might not have heard about otherwise. If even a fraction of those 3,000 people re-tweet that photograph to their followers, how many people are now being reached? If you remove the main source for these photographs, how many potential new fans are no longer being reached? You can begin to see why we, as devoted fans of 2CELLOs who want nothing more than for the entire world to become a part of the Celloverse, are upset by the fact that our main source for high-quality live performance photographs may no longer be allowed to perform the service that brings such joy to so many fans. A service, we might remind you, that she not only provides for free but expends a significant amount of her own time and money to provide.
Our request to you is that the upcoming venues be notified of Katerina’s presence, but in the positive light that she deserves. We request that she be given permission to continue photographing the band as she has done in the past with no interference. Obviously, we understand that flash/video is not always permitted, and Katerina has already complied with this by using a camera that does not even have a flash unit on it. She will gladly comply with each venue’s requests, so long as they are reasonably outlined to her in advance. Whether this is accomplished by the Tour Manager or Miro notifying the venue staff of her presence prior to the show or by perhaps issuing a badge so that security does not harass her, we only ask that she be allowed to continue with her passionate promotion of a band we all feel very strongly about without being harassed at every turn.
Please take our requests under consideration. The 2CELLOs community is a wide-spread but very tight-knit group of fans who all share a deep and abiding love of 2CELLOs. The effects of Katerina being denied the privilege to photograph concerts would be felt worldwide and would greatly detract from our ability to promote and share our most beloved band.