War on selfie sticks hits Minnesota State Fair

Festivals and amusement parks are cracking down on the popular photo gadgets.

Festivals and amusement parks are cracking down on the popular photo gadgets.

They revolutionized your Instagram game. But now prohibitive new policies across the world are threatening your ability to capture special moments with that guy you’ll probably break up with anyway.

Selfie sticks have become public enemy No. 3 (after Cosby and the lion killer), as amusement parks and music festivals seek to eradicate them from their grounds. The war on selfie sticks — those extendable, phone-holding poles used for taking improved self-portraits — has officially hit home. This year the Minnesota State Fair is partially banning the menace wands.

The deep-fried overlords have banished the popular sticks from rides, the Grandstand, and seating areas at other entertainment stages.

“To be honest, we really hadn’t seen selfie sticks at the fair in the past,” says State Fair spokesperson Brienna Schuette. “As the fair ended [last year] … it became a hot-button issue in the fairs and festivals and amusement parks industry, because we’re seeing more and more of them.”

Instead it was a proactive move for safety’s sake, and the fair joins Six Flags, Coachella, and Disney World in restricting the selfie devices. The concern is that riders could extend the poles outside the riding cars and mess with “the ride’s mechanisms,” Schuette says. Last month a California Disney park shut down a roller coaster for an hour after a renegade selfie taker whipped out their stick before its nearly 120-foot drop.

Although the Mall of America doesn’t specifically have selfie sticks in its crosshairs, they’re covered under a blanket policy nixing “loose articles” on Nickelodeon Universe rides. Elsewhere in the park and mall, shoppers can selfie to their heart’s content, a mall spokesperson says.


While having selfie sticks in the fair’s concert areas was somewhat of a safety issue, banning them there is largely about not ruining the experience for other fans, Schuette says. Would you want to sit behind the drunk Def Leppard fan waving a long rod in the air?

“This year if you want to have your picture taken on a ride or at a stage, you’re going to have to ask somebody else to do it for you,” Schuette says.

Like, talk to a stranger? Gross.