As you travel across campus on Wednesday, don't be afraid when you see a mass of students wildly dancing to complete silence. No, you’re not crazy — it's called silent disco, and it's becoming increasing popular among concert enthusiasts.
On Wednesday, Sept. 2, Carolina Productions will host a silent disco at 6 p.m. on Greene Street hosted by Headphone Disco . The event features two DJs battling it out for listeners’ attention via headphones that have two separate channels of two completely different set lists playing simultaneously — broadcast directly in your eardrums. Students can flip between channels and choose whatever music he or she prefers.
A dance area will be roped off for those participating facing the stage. Because the music is broadcast through the headphones, only the people wearing them can hear the DJs. Expect a crowd to form around the gaggle of people dancing to two different beats but no discernible music — watching will be its own entertainment.
“It’ll be really cool, especially with songs ... that everyone sings, like ‘Sweet Caroline.’ You know, ‘oh oh oh,'” Tori Creekmore, second-year sports and entertainment management student, said. “I feel like songs like that, when everyone starts singing them out loud, ‘cause when you go out, there are certain songs you can’t help but sing, then people on the other station will be like, ‘Oh, I wanna hear that!’”
Creekmore, CP’s special events coordinator, is excited to see how a silent disco plays out during its debut at the university. She isn’t worried about how uncommon this practice is and is anxious to introduce students to a unique concert experience.
“I’m more interested for people who are going to walk by. I’m not looking for those people who are like ‘Oh my gosh, I have to do that,’” Creekmore said. “I don’t really even care about the advertising part because I know just seeing it will be interesting and people will be like ‘What’s that? I wanna do that.’"
Silent Events was the first company to bring the silent disco experience to the U.S. in 2005 through Bonnaroo and has since appeared at Vans Warped Tour, Bamboozle and many other popular music festivals. Several universities have also experimented with silent discos, including University of Delaware, which had about 3,000 attendants last April.
If this event is successful, Creekmore is more than happy to keep bringing the concept back. She’s sure her and her friends at CP will get a kick out of watching their peers go at it.
“It’ll be solo in the fact that you can listen to what you want to, but hopefully everyone will be dancing together in a pack,” Creekmore said.
DJ Angel, one of the DJs taking part in Wednesday's silent disco, is an open format DJ, originally from Honduras, who majored in music at the College of Charleston.
Out of the blue, he received an email from Headphone Disco to perform at a show in Virginia and he tours with them full time. DJ Angel has played at multiple universities and music festivals like Firefly.
He personally enjoys silent discos because they don’t offer up just one genre of music. Attendees don’t have their mind set on only hearing EDM music, because they’re not at an underground dance club, or only hip-hop, because they’re not at a hip-hop club. This gives the DJs the opportunity to play multiple genres simultaneously and offers up a taste of music for every type of person there. Concertgoers are also less likely to leave if the type of music they enjoy isn’t playing — their favorite may be up next or playing on the other station.
DJ Angel, for his part, is going to have fun with it.
“I like to do a lot of fun stuff,” DJ Angelsaid. “I like to do mash up music on the fly, so I may play Maroon 5, then might flip into Beyoncé and play those two together, or I may play The Rolling Stones, but have something going on top of that."