An article in The New York Times’ Style section warns that certain clubs around New York City are now enforcing a strict no-photo policy.
Nightclubs such as Chinatown’s Le Baron, Chelsea’s No. 8, the newly opened Sankeys in Midtown West, and even Williamsburg’s popular dance club Output are banning photos and videos in an effort to refocus attention on the music instead of Instagram, writes The Times’ Billy Grey.
This is a truly misguided idea.
The purported rationale behind the no-photo policy is that without smartphones constantly in-hand, A-list clientele will feel more comfortable, people will be more willing to let their guard down, and the party will feel more exclusive.
But often it’s the celebrities themselves who are taking Instagram shots of the raucous partying and posting them on their social media pages. Just glance at Instagram accounts of Rihanna, model Cara Delevingne, and Miley Cyrus to see that some celebrities are not deterred by photo-taking, since they’re snapping pictures themselves.
Plus, tens of thousands of NYC night owls dress up and go out every Friday and Saturday night (not to mention the occasional Sunday/Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday night), and take pictures with their friends. They want to both remember the good times and brag to everyone who wasn’t there that they got to see Kanye West in the club.
Not all bars and nightclubs are banning photos. Some of New York’s most well-known establishments, including 1-OAK, Avenue, and LAVO, all boast plenty of Foursquare check-ins and crazy Instagram and Facebook snapshots. These social networking tools offer free advertising, letting the clubs show off to potential guests.
The only no-photo policy that might actually make sense is at Williamsburg’s Output, where the city’s music fans are said to have found a new home with lots of lights, pumping Electro, and a gigantic dance floor. According to Business Insider reporter Linette Lopez, who visited Output on its opening night, “You do not go to Output to be seen. You go to dance.”
The major drawback, of course, is if your clientele wants to be both seen and dance all night. Said one disappointed Yelp user, “No photos/videos policy. I really like the idea behind this. Just enjoy the musicians, I get it. But the fact that they strictly ENFORCE this (one reviewer said the bouncers tried to keep him from leaving and force him to delete the photos off his phone) is outrageous. What a joke. Should be a suggestion, nothing more.”
Here’s hoping the city’s nightclubs will get the hint and let partiers take selfies with impunity, or at the very least not be so strict with the misguided policy.
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