Silent Disco: an event where music is transferred through wireless headphones instead of loud speakers; a concept that is popular in the States. You can have an EDM concert or office parties with little noise pollution so it’s ideal for venues in the city.
I had my reservations about this one. Why? Because, I also had a similar concept in mind and sent a proposal to a few prominent establishments and companies looking for sponsorship. So imagine my shock when I saw this, and with the same name. Anyway, let’s not point fingers. As they say: no idea is original.
The team called “Quiet Jamaica” brought the silent disco concept to Jamaica, as they hosted a few of them in parts of Kingston and Montego Bay. This is the right time as EDM is now a growing party trend in Jamaica.
This staging was held at Tracks & Records, the restaurant of the fastest man Usain Bolt. Tickets were $2,000 pre-sold $2,500 at the gate and a group rate of $1,500. We got there early around 12:00 pm and saw a few persons collecting their headphones and entering. I wasn’t about to pay $2,500 to get in so after some superior negotiations, my friends and I paid only $1,500 each.
Once we got in, persons were lounging around sitting and talking. Most persons didn’t dress for a rave; girls in high heels and tight dresses men in jackets and with lots of jewelry. Another noticeable thing was the music being played in the headphones was from a CD as there was no DJ present.
The headphones consisted of 3 channels from which you can switch. The headphones were colour coded to give a nice visual effect. One played Soca, (blue) one played Hip-hop (green) and the last playing Dancehall (red). There was no EDM. The other downfall was it wasn’t a drink inclusive event. I would have been pissed if I had paid $2,500 to get in.
Anyhow we hit the bar, got us a drink and just vibed to the music being played. People gathered in their groups each listening to different channels. Eventually the DJs showed up. We would be entertained by the musical styling of Creep from Chromatic, Dj Nico and DJ Lank. Once they took their positions, the tempo increased and the party officially started.
Each DJ played a different genre in the beginning. There was the 90’s Dancehall, the old school Hip-hop and Soca. The Soca fans were the first group to start raving as they shouted and danced to the hits they heard. If persons saw a group of people getting hyped they would switch their headphones to that channel. This went on for the night: depending on which hits a DJ was playing almost everyone would switch to that colour.
The tempo grew as each DJ mixed. Well, it was like a competition between them to see who could hype the crowd the most and get everyone to switch to their channel. They did so well, it was hard to choose a channel at one point. Each genre had a high point: Dancehall with the gangsta and whining sessions, Hip-hop with the latest popular songs and Soca of course with the ladies carrying on bad.
But later on, a lot of songs began to be repeated as the DJs began to play other genres instead of sticking to one. So you would have two channels playing dancehall songs that were played earlier.
Soon all three DJs synced together and played Adele’s “Hello”, which was basically the signal the party was finished. Overall, it was a good experience. There were high points due to the DJs mixing well, but the dress code of patrons, no inclusive liquor or a channel for EDM made it far from a rave or the idea of what a rave should be.
But this is definitely a concept that can catch on in Jamaica once done properly. I myself will be looking to give this a shot so let’s see what 2016 brings.
(Check out my IG page @shermz_partyheart for video clips of the event)