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The Tragically Hip's Rob Baker on photographer ban at Kingston show: 'Access to concerts is always limited'

Melody Lau

No media outlets were allowed access to photograph the Tragically Hip's concert on Saturday night in Kingston, Ont. and guitarist Rob Baker is now taking to Twitter to defend the band's decision to limit that access. "Does anyone feel that there has been a lack of coverage of this? That the public hasn't been served?" Baker tweeted yesterday. 

Baker cited the size of the venue as a major factor as the K-Rock Centre only holds approximately 7,000 people and was therefore too small to accommodate the many publications hoping to send a photographer to the show. 

"Close friends who are photographers, some who have worked with the band for 20+ yrs were redirected to other shows," Baker said in a response. "I agree that it is an interesting debate but the bottom line in this case was the logistics of space, safety and fairness." 

Photographers were allowed to shoot the band's other Man Machine Poem tour dates, giving them access to photograph the first few songs which is a common practice at most concerts. "No room & no lack of coverage," Baker continued. "14 shows were available, 1 [not, for] valid reasons." 

The Canadian Press editor-in-chief Stephen Meurice was critical of the band's decision to ban media from the Kingston show, writing, "Using handout pictures produced and controlled by a person or organization we cover removes our ability to exercise that editorial independence. The images become, essentially, promotional material, and we do not distribute such material as part of our news file." 

Both the Canadian Press and Reuters chose not to use the promoter's photos. 

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