Highline Ballroom: NYC Venues Broken Down

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As a part of our Concert Photography series, we’ve previously listed all the New York City concert venues categorizing them based on whether or not those venues had photo pits. Now for this next installment, we’ll be breaking down specific venues and including our personal experiences.


When I think of Highline Ballroom waves of awkward hit me, making me want to curl up into fetal position. It’s a relatively small venue with a relatively small stage that is surrounded by booths and tables. And because this venue serves dinner courses, people tend to sit at tables rather than standing in front of the stage before the show starts. So whenever I walk into Highline, the first thing I always notice is the totally empty stage floor and the fully seated tables. At which point, I’ll make the tough decision of deciding whether or not to go sit on the floor in front of the stage or wait awkwardly in the back. Either way, each awkward choice is awkward.

Because there’s no photo pit at Highline, you’ll have to wait in front of the stage or face shooting further back amongst the crowd. The stage however is very low so there’s that advantage. But because there’s no pit, where you stand is where you’ll be for the remainder of the show. But that depends on whether or not the show is packed or not, of course. The lighting at Highline Ballroom is alright and every time that I’ve been to this venue, there have been some form of mechanical failures onstage.

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Nancy Hoang created Hopeless Thunder in 2007. She conducts the interviews, writes the articles, photographs the concerts, and handles the site's coding & design. (Basically, she's a control freak.) Her work can also be seen on music publication, CMJ. Contact Nancy for image licensing, assignments, or just to say hi.

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