DJs playing music simultaneously on an outdoor stage for a big crowd. Sounds like a recipe for a noise citation. But a new concept lets you customize your club experience, choose your own music – and dance away without disturbing the peace, thanks to specially designed headphones.
It’s called Pin Drop Disco.
Pin Drop Disco pumps up the volume like any nightclub. But if you happened to wander past Annette Strauss Square Friday night, you didn’t hear any bumping music.
That’s because the 250 people dancing at Pin Drop Disco are listening to music on a special set of fancy headphones. They have three channels so you can choose your DJ, and you can also control the volume. The headphones light up with neon – a different color for each DJ.
On Friday night, Sarah Jaffe spins with green lights, Zhora’s Taylor Rea wears red, and DJ emptycylinder has blue.
As the DJs onstage “battle,” they could see who is listening to their channel and change up the music accordingly. And clubgoers can see what everyone else is listening to and change the channel.
The silent disco idea started at European music festivals, says Ryan Dowd. Dowd owns the Nashville company Silent Events, which presented the dance party at Strauss Square. He says the silent disco is a better option than a regular club atmosphere mainly because crowds today are used to choices.
“You love hip hop, I hate hip hop. If we go to a traditional club, it’s either too loud or I don’t like the music. It’s hard to keep everybody happy.” Dowd explains, “Well, with this, you could be on blue channel hip hop,
I could be on green channel Top 40. So I think the choice, the option, and also to turn it up or down.”
The headliner for the night is DJ Spinderella of the hip hop trio Salt-N-Pepa. This is her first silent disco.
She says, “I’ve been hearing about it. It’s like this new wave, but I’m excited about it because it is challenging, and it’s different. And I’m glad to see Dallas is holding this.”
She thinks it’s a fun concept that’s perfect for this era and gives the audience a more personalized experience.
“You know when you’re listening to your headphones, it’s more intimate and more personal. And that to me takes you away.”
This kind of party seems to be catching on; Dowd said that there were four different silent disco events happening Friday night from Dallas to New Jersey. And if you think a crowd dancing with headphones on is a little well, weird, Dowd says the next trend is a silent wedding reception.
Dowd explains, “You can have a DJ doing his thing, and then channel 2 can be an ipod of the groom, and then an ipod of the bride. So no matter what, the bride can always go to her channel, and it’s her music. And so it’s like, you love your partner but hate her music, well give her her own channel.”
I don’t know if that’s my kind of wedding, but I do know this is a pretty fun party – especially for the people wearing headphones and singing along to what they hear.