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Clog's thoughts on the silent disco

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JUNE 16, 2015

You may have heard recently about the silent disco party in celebration of the new Dolores Park in San Francisco this Thursday. Additionally, you may have heard of companies like Silent Storm that are founded on the basis of silent disco events. Like us, you also may have reacted with a look of utter confusion and asked, “WTF actually is a silent disco party?” We looked up the event and found that over 18,000 people have RSVP’d — so many people, in fact, that the organizers are no longer accepting RSVPs. Why are so many people that excited about something that sounds so counterintuitive?  Well, luckily for you, it’s our job at the Daily Clog to answer such important questions.


What is a silent disco?

A silent disco is an event where a group of people listen to the same song simultaneously while dancing. “Oh!” you say, “I do that every time I’m at a concert. What’s the big deal?” The big deal is that these party goers are all wearing headphones. To anyone who is not wearing headphones and synced up to the same music, it looks like a group of people silently flailing about.


A brief history

The history of silent discos is quite murky. Many sources seem to point to the 1990s as the start of the trend. Supposedly, eco-activists held silent discos in an attempt to limit their noise pollution. This, however, is not confirmable. By the late 1990s, The Flaming Lips were advertising “The World’s First Headphones Concerts,” which marked a pivotal point in the utilization of silent discos. No longer were they for eco-activists who didn’t want to disturb wildlife, but they were now an acceptable event for the masses. Since that concert, music festivals such as Bonnaroo have taken the silent disco party and turned it into a novelty event. Within the last 10 years, silent discos have popped up all over the world, often as part of a flash mob. The Dolores Park silent disco marks the Bay Area’s own utilization of a silent disco and a return to its roots — to gather a group of people in celebration of nature.


Our thoughts

While initially weary about the entire concept — we feared it would get boring pretty quickly — we now kinda dig it. If the Dolores Park silent disco organizers were still accepting RSVPs, we’d sign up immediately. It sounds like a fun, carefree activity. Afterwards you can laugh along with your friends about all your crazy dance moves and celebrate the salvation of your eardrums.

Image source: Janusz Kaliszczak via Creative Commons

Contact Sophia Zepeda at [email protected].

JUNE 15, 2015