Hammerstein and Grand Ballroom Goes Live with Broadcast Updates


Below is a news summary by Whitney Morelock, an Entertainment Management student at Missouri State University.

(from Venuestoday.com, March 20, 2012) The first twelve years of the twenty-first century brought the world the iPhone, electronic readers, classroom “Smart Boards”, interfaces for electronic medical records, and a high-definition, broadcast-capable concert venue.

The Hammerstein Ballroom was recently rewired to be a venue capable of broadcasting which would also include a recording studio – the “new revolution” in performing arts. Built in 1906, it was formerly a big hit in the Vaudeville circuit. Now, it is part of the Manhattan Center, and it is a celebrated venue in New York City for media and entertainment.

Last December, The Manhattan Center made two significant changes. First, they previously had an exclusive booking contract with Live Nation, one of the largest concert search engines online. Now, they can use independent promoters, considerably opening them up for more business. Second, they have a new, fully-high-definition recording studio called “TV1” that has been used by several popular artists.

The Hammerstein is still fully wired for live concerts despite their technological bent, and they have everything in-house that an artist would need for a concert, so groups and bands coming to performing do not need to bring their trucks, although many of them still do. Several popular artists are on the queue for Spring Concerts at the Hammerstein, including American Idol Star, Daughtry, on May 1. While the venue put on several concerts over the last few months, television simulcasts remain their biggest market.

Due to the excellent acoustic quality, many music directors have been able to record film scores there, such as those for “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, “True Grit” by the Coen Brothers, and Spike Lee’s tribute to September 11th, “Empire State of Mind.”

Because it is so iconic for the music industry, many artists went to shows at the Hammerstein as they grew their music careers; so performing there is a significant milestone for their careers.

Obie O’Brien, the Director of Audio and Television for the Manhattan Center, says that this will make concerts more accessible and affordable and easier to experience because concerts are available through simulcast through the Internet or movie theaters.