Silent discos are a trend on the rise


Imagine a room full of dancing bodies, jumping and smiling late into the night, while a DJ is in the front of the venue providing the atmosphere. Instead of the live music being sent through loud speakers, it is broadcasted into headphones worn by each attendee. To an outsider, the event would look like a room full of people dancing to complete silence.

While the concept sounds strange, silent discos have become an increasingly popular concert experience. This newly popularized trend has been around for decades and was recently utilized by CU Denver as a tri-university event for all Auraria students.

The trend of silent discos erupted in 1994. The Glastonbury Music Festival furthered the popularity of silent discos by handing out headphones to the festival goers. The silent festival was the solution to the problem of noise curfews, allowing DJ’s to hold their shows late into the evening without any noise complaints being issued. Since then, the popularity of silent discos has increased. Companies catering to silent discos have arisen across the Denver area that allow for the renting of the headphones for guests to wear.

In March of 2017, the UCD Center of Events and Activities hosted a silent disco. The event was hosted in the Tivoli Turnhalle and welcomed students from any of the three schools on the campus.

“Our goal was to create a club-like feel for the event,” said Thahn Pham, who planned the event with the Center of Events and Activities. “It is important to hold tri-institutional activities that allow for students to have a full network of people to engage with.”

The silent disco at Auraria also featured three DJ’s who are students  or alumni at CU Denver. William Card, a CU graduate; Jackson Hale, a CAM student; and Mohammed Fadika, a Business School student, all provided music for the event.

“The event allowed these DJ’s to get publicity for their work and to gain some following on campus,” Pham said.

The event was more successful than originally predicted. In fact, another silent disco is in the process of being arranged.

“Overall, we saw over 100 students participate in the event.” Pham said. “At a time, there were about 30 to 40 students wearing the headphones and dancing.”

While the events are successful, the question of how a silent room of people dancing isn’t painfully awkward begs to be asked.

“The lights are dimmed to make the whole experience feel less awkward, as well as making it feel more like a club,” Pham said.

To an outsider, the event may feel strange, but silent discos are the solution to issues created by loud concerts. In fact, there are rumors that Red Rocks Amphitheater may increase the frequency of silent events. According to Westword, shows are required to end by 11:45 p.m. most days. If the popular EDM events were converted into late night silent discos, attendees would be able to dance late into the night.

Silent discos are not a new trend. While they are currently receiving more publicity than ever before, the fad is just as logical as it is strange. Any event as strange as a silent room full of dancing is sure to gain attention, proving silent discos are here to stay.

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