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Can you hear the drums Fernando? FERNANDO!!?
March 29, 2005 4:26 PM   Subscribe

Ever noticed how silly those people dancing in music videos start looking when you turn the sound off? Next June, see that live as a spectator at the Glastonbury festival, which will feature a Silent Disco this year in an effort to sidestep noise curfews.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (23 comments total)

 
Originating at the De Parade travelling theatre festival in Holland, Silent Disco involves a DJ, a radio transmitter and a good crowd of party people donning headphones. At the Lowlands festival (an annual pilgrimage of mine in the last 10 years or so), they started another concept in conjuction with singer/songwriter J Perkin: Silen Concerts, where intimacy is created by the entire PA consisting of a couple of hundred pairs of headphones.

Further coverage: BBC News The Guardian
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:27 PM on March 29, 2005


I wonder is passers-by will be able to hear them unconsciously grunting and panting.
posted by interrobang at 4:38 PM on March 29, 2005


As a 'veteran', I can tell you: the dominant sound is that of mud-coated boots hitting the wooden floorboards of the tent. Combine that with the DJ/MC giving instructions - "clap on the threes", "jump now" etc. - and it's almost cult-like.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:43 PM on March 29, 2005


Dance like no one is watching... err, listening.

I've wanted to try this for like 10 years now. Well before the flashmob idea was well known. You could broadcast on microwatt FM, have people show up with walkmans and have an impromptu minirave wherever.
posted by loquacious at 4:46 PM on March 29, 2005


Won't the organizers feel dumb when the headphones stop working due to mud encrustation?
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:51 PM on March 29, 2005


I would imagine that this would be both funny and a little creepy to watch.
posted by fenriq at 4:52 PM on March 29, 2005


Yeah I saw that commericial.
posted by andendau at 4:52 PM on March 29, 2005


Ever noticed how silly those people dancing in music videos start looking when you turn the sound off?

Yes. Even more for people acting tough in music videos when you turn the sound off.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:01 PM on March 29, 2005


It is, fenriq, that's exactly what it is. Oh and loquacious, you can always pre-record it and distribute it over the internets beforehand... oh wait that's already been done. :)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:01 PM on March 29, 2005


Thankfully I forgot about that commercial, probably willfully.
posted by loquacious at 5:04 PM on March 29, 2005


We tried to do this in NYC, but we ran into a problem wherin most people didn't have portable radios, and the ones we could afford to buy in bulk to sell sucked so hard that it wasn't worth it.

Also, there was just waaay too many radio statios for our crappy low power fm transmitter.

But i love the idea, and want to try it out sometime. Maybe burningman or something.
posted by Freen at 5:11 PM on March 29, 2005


What commercial, btw?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:16 PM on March 29, 2005


I was slightly joking. There's this Sony commericial about that minidisc thing. Everybody goes to the beach and there's a noise ordinance. A bunch of people are rocking in headphones out in the middle of the night and the cops are just watching. Alien thing rocks out as DJ or something.
posted by andendau at 6:04 PM on March 29, 2005


The technical detail of this commercial being that everyone has MiniDisc players and they all start a mixed-disc at the same exact moment.

Prior to this you see a park ranger type person collecting photocopied astrobright flyers from car hoods and bulletin boards or something, and getting pissed off that he's about to get raided by filthy rave scum. Commercial ends with the ranger smiling and watching the kids dancing in silence, but it's a confused sort of smile.

Out in the real world, dancers are scratching their heads and heard saying "WTF? 74 minutes is no where near long enough. Besides, MiniDiscs sound like ass!"

I suspect Sony actually offended a lot of people with this one - people that actually wanted to use the idea before it became co-opted by media whores - and people that don't like having their subcultures used to market stuff to them. Especially obsolete technology.

Plus it totally discounts the real interactivity a talented DJ provides and kind of renders the whole concept of DJ-as-shaman or guide moot.
posted by loquacious at 6:18 PM on March 29, 2005


I always found the best place to dance after midnight was in the Hare Krishna test. It's a really cool place to be as long as you don't get sucked into their religious nuttery..
posted by salmacis at 12:11 AM on March 30, 2005


The Glade was excellent, and is just round the back of the tent I usually work in when I'm there (Yorkshire CND Property lock up). The noise curfew did for most of the best places to dance though, including Banana Joe's.
posted by vbfg at 3:54 AM on March 30, 2005


I don't know, does anyone else find this idea really lame?

Knowing the state most Glastonians are in come around midnight, is making everyone look like lumpy-skulled fighter pilots really going to go over all that well? Imagine wandering onto that scene at the height of a nice mushroom trip, turning a corner and seeing lots of alien ravers with antennae sprouting from their heads, dancing to music you can't hear.

Won't someone please think of the hippies?
posted by LondonYank at 4:54 AM on March 30, 2005


Ah, thanks andendau and loquacious.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:19 AM on March 30, 2005


LondonYank : "Imagine wandering onto that scene at the height of a nice mushroom trip, turning a corner and seeing lots of alien ravers with antennae sprouting from their heads, dancing to music you can't hear."

Sounds pretty damn groovy, actually.
posted by Bugbread at 5:36 AM on March 30, 2005


another logistical problem: won't the headsets fall off from too-energetic dancing? or from poor implementation of headsets on ravers' heads (one doesn't exactly have great hand-eye coordination when tripping on shrooms...)
posted by wessatong at 5:54 AM on March 30, 2005


wessatong, they're pretty bulky and tend to stay fixed just fine. However, I do think a certain percentage of equipment loss is calculated as overhead for each event :)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:17 AM on March 30, 2005


Ah, it's only now that I notice this in the original post:

Silen Concerts

The 't', I guess, is silent.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:44 AM on March 30, 2005


At least I saw it.

Loquacious: You've captured the pretentious glory of the commericial in ways I cannot describe. Your namesake is fitting.
posted by andendau at 7:47 PM on March 30, 2005


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