How Silent Disco’s are unravelling a new party culture

The concept of silent discos is not uncommon abroad, and is usually reserved in the country for partying destinations like Goa.


Silent disco. Sounds paradoxical, right? For the uninitiated, this is a common term for clubbing except it has one major difference: people groove to music on personal headphones instead of the one blasting from megawatt speakers.

The earliest reference to silent discos was made in the 1969 Finnish sci-fi film Ruusujen Aika (A Time of Roses), in which people wore headphones and danced silently at a party. The concept resurfaced in the early 1990s when eco-activists decided to host silent parties to reduce noise pollution

At a silent disco party, rather than using a speaker system, the music is broadcast via a radio transmitter with the signal being picked up by wireless headphone receivers worn by the participants. Those without the headphones hear no music, giving the effect of a room full of people dancing to nothing.

In the earliest days of silent discos, before 2005, there would be only one channel available to listen to music. Over time, the technology has progressed and now three separate DJs can broadcast over at the same time.

Silent discos are popular at music festivals as they allow dancing to continue past noise curfews. The concept of silent discos is not uncommon abroad, and is usually reserved in the country for partying destinations like Goa.

Most Quiet Events have two or three DJs who play different music throughout the night. Each DJ is assigned a frequency and a color, like green, blue, or red, so that he can see how many people are on his station. And you can see, very easily. Each person’s headphone lights up with the color of the station they’re listening to, leading to an odd form of peer pressure. You almost have a Facebook-style “fear of missing out” feeling when you are on a differently colored station from the crowd. Sometimes it seems like everyone is listening to the same DJ, but at other times it can be pretty well mixed. If a DJ plays a bad song, the crowd will often revolt and switch over to another station. It lays bare our natural instincts to both rebel and follow the crowd.

German DJ and producer Daniel Haaksman, who has played a heady mix of baile funk, tropical bass and UK funk at silent disco parties before, says, “It’s very different from a traditional clubbing experience, where subsonic frequencies make a large part of the unique listening experience. But even without the physical body experience of bass, people dance to the music.”

Commenting on the rising trend of silent discos’, Divij Bajaj, Owner, Headphones Lounge said, “Coming from a non-business family, things were quite difficult for me at the beginning. But with time everything took pace making my dreams convert into reality. The idea came into my mind when I visited United Kingdom with my brother for a vacation. We came across the concept there which attracted us a lot. We thought that there are many discos in India which are providing customers with loud music. And, why not take this concept back to our country where people can enjoy music as well as communicate with each other whenever they feel like. We felt that not all the people of various age groups like loud music. So, if one wants to enjoy it, they can put their headphones on and the rest can put it off enjoying the pleasure of talking with each other.”

Where can you find these silent discos in India? 

  • The Secret Headphone party is hoisted in Mumbai and Delhi.
  • Headphones Lounge in Delhi. 
  • Goa hoists a silent headphone party in Palolem. 
  • Vatkara Silent Disco in Mumbai. 

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Silent Disco goa Ruusujen Aika

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