I love a ridiculous fad, and Los Angeles is home to many of them (remember oxygen bars and pitch black restaurants?). Over the weekend, I stumbled upon my first ever Silent Disco, a unique party wherein participants can only hear music by donning wireless headsets. In other words, it’s the most antisocial conceit of all time.
The headsets offer users three channels to listen to, each one corresponding to a glowing color (red, green, and blue), which means that at any given moment, people are dancing to entirely different music. In some ways that’s kind of cool, but at the same time, isn’t the fun of the dance floor that the masses are united in one throbbing, rhythmic, sensory experience?
Like any properly silly fad, the Silent Disco leaves us asking “Why?” but to be fair, there are some practical answers. Silent Discos are apparently a big hit in outdoor venues where noise restrictions limit booming music over loudspeakers. I can certainly get behind that. However, in a small lounge built primarily for socializing, it makes little to no sense. The result is a room full of people dancing around with headphones while the rest of us watch incredulously.
I would say that I’m open to exciting new expressions of dance and social experiences, but this was a shade pretentious, even for me. At one point, my friends Sly and Sawgee and I put on the headphones, and an excitable man walked up to us and screamed, “I LOVE THAT YOU ARE ALL ON DIFFERENT CHANNELS BUT STILL TOTALLY CONNECTING!” Yes, we were all connecting: specifically, on the silliness of the entire thing.
Should you be curious to see a Silent Disco in action, check out the video above.