Simon & Garfunkel Were Right: Silence rings loud at Silent Disco

Silence and dancing are not normally two things that are categorized together, but a St. Edward’s event has proven otherwise. In late March, the University Programming Board hosted its first ever Silent Disco.

Silent Disco is an experience where the people control the DJ. The event featured two live DJs and three different stations to choose from. In order to access the music, wireless headphones were provided. Each station distinguished itself by one of three bright colors: red, blue or green, to correspond to the light-up channels.

This new, interactive experience was open to all students on the hilltop. Upon walking into the alumni gym, attendees could not help but laugh at the sight before them — A large group of college students moving to the rhythm of silence.

The music selection included a variety of genres, ranging from rap to EDM to pop and more. Robert Nieto, known as “Robbie da Raver” was one of two live DJs at the event.

“The experience was nothing short of perfect,” Nieto said. “Once people started filling up the gym and all the lights were blasting, it literally felt like a scene out of a movie.”

Nieto began DJing his junior year of high school. He expressed that the headphones are a game changer, and foster a totally different experience.

Dazzling lights provided by Austin Event Lighting overtook the space, bouncing off the walls and reflecting on the windows to create the ultimate party scene.

“The crowd was a perfect blend of people,” Nieto said.

The event attracted a diverse turnout, and the music catered to its preferences. Varying music taste did not divide friends, but brought them together. Partygoers not only controlled the songs, but the volume, which prevented the conversational struggles that parties often cause.

A sense of camaraderie was felt among those with the same color headphones, and individuals gathered into groups to dance to the beat of their channels. In a way, the channels formed group identities as people jumped around to J. Cole, sang along to Beyoncé or swayed to Earth, Wind & Fire. The ratio of colors fluctuated throughout the night.

“There’s seriously no better feeling in the world than knowing you’re connecting with people like that and providing that energy to create memories with their friends,” Nieto said. “You feel some type of personal connection to every single person in the crowd,” he continued. “We were all on the same BPM.”

Silent Disco was ultimately an event where people were brought together exemplifying the binding power of music. It was a space where music tastes could coexist; a party customized to both the individual, and the entirety of the crowd.  

“If I could describe the night using song lyrics I would use lyrics from the present musical masterpiece of Migos’ ‘Stir Fry,’” Nieto said. “‘Dance with my dogs in the nighttime.’”