The Art of Silent Disco
Silent disco has been around much longer than most people think, myself included. About a year or two ago, it started picking up traction in the media and in the scene. In almost every major music festival, there is at least one designated spot for people to start grooving silently.
I've jammed to a couple silent discos in my day and each experience has been greater than the last. I'll never forget the day I first discovered what a silent disco was. I thought it was strange; a group of people dancing to a DJ or multiple DJs and different genres with headphones on. That is until I tried it myself and I was hooked.
From a far off perspective a whole crowd of people are dancing to silence. Meanwhile, there's a symphony of sound being played in everyone's ears moving them to the various beats.
Anyone first trying this will inevitably and most definitely take off their headphones intermediately to look at the people dancing to silence around it. No one ever came across a silent disco because of the loud crowds and booming atmosphere, that would kind of defeat the purpose of a silent disco, wouldn't it?
These discos are usually found off to the side away from the main action. At Electric Forest, there was a great area set away from the other stages in the middle of the Forest. There's a short line in the front of all of these designated areas. The festival helpers will hand you a pair of headphones, most of the time you'll be able to shift between two different channels with different DJs.
There are two DJs at the front of the crowd, and unlike a usual set everyone isn't going to be crowded around the head of the stage. These DJs compete for your ears, which are able to hear the music the way it was meant to be heard. All headphones at a Silent Disco are of the highest quality, able to pick up the most minute acoustics and hear every reverberation of a song.
Advantages of the Silent Party
As much as everyone loves some bass in the face, there are moments everyone would like a reprieve from their eardrums being drilled into oblivion. A silent disco allows for the user to control the volume without suffering from premature hearing loss. Another great benefit is being able to communicate with the people around you.
How many times have you had to repeat yourself to someone only to push yourself against them and scream in their ear to say what you're trying to say. By the time you've gotten to a quiet place your hoarse voice is now a smoky muffle. The great thing about talking to your group is all you have to do is take off the headphones for a minute.
One of the many reasons we all go to festivals is to have new experiences and that includes meeting different people from all walks of life. Pushing forward through a sea of people to the front of a crowd isn't always the best way to do that. Conversation can flow more naturally as everyone gets down to their own groove.
The silent disco has been around for quite some time but it's entrance into the mainstream dance circuit is still in it's infancy.