Everybody recognises the loon that stands in the middle of the dance floor, shaking their hips and contorting their body to a beat that has no correlation what so ever with the music you can hear. Most people would spend the rest of their evening trying to avoid this particular type of person in a bid to avoid the impending embarrassment of being caught within close quarters of them.
However its taken a pair of Dutch DJs to realise that fun could be had in abundance as soon as you provide everyone with their own set of wireless headphones and encourage freestyle dancing to the music only you and half the other dancers can hear.
To puzzled onlookers its an odd sight, a tent full of people wearing wireless headphones, half of whom are grooving to Fatboy Slims Rockefeller Skank, while the other half are head banging to the sounds of Nirvanas Street Spirit. Odd it may look, but curiosity would get the better of many an onlooker and it wouldnt be long before the audience made the transition from fascinated bystanders to enthusiastic participants.
Such is the addiction of the Silent Disco that its making its appearance this year across the festival scene at Wychwood, Oxygen, T in the Park, Guilfest, Global Gathering, Womad, The Carling Weekend and Electric Picnic.
The Silent Disco is hosted by NO DJ and DJ OD. The former is a tall Dutchman with a love of Hawaii and hard house, while the latter prefers beer, polka and rock apparently. Whoever you decide to listen to rest assured youll be accompanied by the soothing sounds of commentary akin to the vocal accompaniments of first grade acting in 70s Dutch porn movies.
Interactivity is a key feature of the Silent Disco, bored with one song? Then simply switch channels on your wireless headphones and you can listen to something else. Two Djs play simultaneously, offering a hilarious fusion of uncoordinated dancing and even less cohesive singing.
Losing yourself in the music is all part of the fun and occasionally you might want to stop, take your head phones off and listen to what everyone else is singing. It really is a unique experience.
Popularity of The Silent Disco has been soaring since its inception in the summer of 2002. In 2004 there were 78,000 people who had danced/moshed/skanked (delete as appropriate) to the Silent Disco, a number that is continuing to grow.
If you get the chance this summer stop by the Silent Disco and take a look, I promise you it wont be long before youre donning a pair of wireless headphones and dancing like that uncontrollable loon.
Here is a list of the DJ's you can catch at the following festivals:
T in the Park - DJ OD and DJ Steven Guts
Oxegen - NO DJ
GuilFest - NO DJ & DJ Steven Guts
Global Gathering - NO DJ & DJ OD
Wychwood - NO DJ & DJ OD
festival information by: Scott Johnson