A Unique Perspective On Concert Photography From A Blind Music Fan, Ahmad Zaghal

An artisan gives finishing touches to an effigy of demon king Ravana in preparation for the upcoming Hindu festival of Dussehra in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh October 8, 2013. The effigies are burnt during the festival which commemorates the triumph of Lord Rama over Ravana, marking the victory of good over evil. REUTERS/Ajay Verma (INDIA - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Screen-reading software tells him when hes selected the camera function. Then, he points and shoots. If theres nobody to chat with between sets, hell caption the images and post them to Instagram straight from the gig. That isnt the case at last Tuesdays Rocketship show. Between bands, Zaghal is hanging out in the front yard, chatting with the singer of Neonates, a band he photographed in August, and the guitarist of Fell Types, whom hes about to snap in a few minutes. The social demarcation line that usually separates bands from fans is nonexistent here an attitude of acceptance and inclusion passed down from Washingtons storied hardcore punk scene. Which is to say, the blind guy shooting concert photos is really no biggie. I dont get asked about [being blind] as much as youd expect, Zaghal says. Maybe thats what keeps me coming to these shows, subconsciously. . . .

Analysis: Jackson case will change the tune for concert, artist insurance

“We’re in a high risk business, said Steck. “The case will require artists to disclose medical conditions and the producer will need to insure and vet them properly, meaning more red tape. This could affect ticket pricing at the end of the day.” In its wrongful death suit against AEG, Jackson’s family claimed AEG negligently hired Murray as Jackson’s personal physician and ignored signs Jackson, who died in 2009 at 50 from an overdose of propofol, was in poor health. AEG Live argued Jackson’s prescription drug and addiction problems predated their deal and that it did not hire Murray or see he was a danger to the star. Even though Lloyds didn’t pay off on Jackson’s death, legal and insurance experts say artists’ coverage will now carry many more exclusions — specific instances of prior injuries, drug use and now perhaps negligence by staff that won’t be covered – giving promoters and insurance firms an out from paying claims if stars do not fulfill obligations due to negligence by a person on the star’s staff. “There will be exclusions for personal assistants, doctors, anybody but the performer,” said Jon Pfeiffer, an entertainment attorney in Los Angeles. “If an assistant or professional does something wrong, the artist will go after the assistant and not AEG.” Insurers wound up settling with Spears after she sued a group for almost $10 million in 2005, after she was forced to cancel the European leg of a tour due to a knee injury. Spears and her promoter had bought “contingency insurance” from several companies including Liberty Syndicate Management Ltd, French company AXA’s AXA Corporate Solutions, one of the more common policies that cover abandonment, cancellation or postponement of a concert. The companies initially refused to pay Spears for losses arising from the canceled shows, claiming she failed to disclose surgery performed on her knee five years earlier. Spears had passed the insurance company’s required medical exam a year before the tour was to begin. John Callagy, attorney for Spears in the case, told Reuters it became apparent the insurance companies were aware of her prior knee injuries from earlier insurance applications. Mary Thompson, president of Las Vegas-based Capstone Brokerage, said she expects Spears probably bought “contingency insurance” for her Planet Hollywood residency but now it includes new stipulations following the pop star’s widely publicized breakdown a few years go. Tougher drug use monitoring and higher insurance pricing arose after 23-year-old actor River Phoenix died in 1993 of a drug overdose while under contract for two movies. When he died, two insurance companies paid nearly $5.7 million to the producers of “Dark Blood” and “Interview With the Vampire,” but then sued his estate in a federal court in Florida to get their money back, claiming he violated his contracts by lying when he said he did not do drugs. The court ruled against the insurers, which then appealed the ruling.