[tweetmeme]From a distance, it looked like what one would expect of the annual Albany event LarkFEST: a monstrous mob of people, a clash of colors and a mash-up of movement. But something about this crowd was peculiar.
On the brim of the sea of people gathered on Hudson Ave, one tall individual distinctly stood out. His arms were thrashing about in the air, and he was rocking out to some music inaudible to our ears. As we approached closer to this guy, who was certainly not worried about drawing attention to himself, it became quite obvious that he wasn’t dancing alone. He was delightfully accompanied by a large slew of people dancing, strangers and friends alike. What is puzzling, though, about this seemingly-random spectacle of people dancing was that to the non-participant there was no music to be heard.
These attendees of LarkFEST were eagerly engaged in an event known as a silent disco. The concept is simple: wear a pair of wireless head phones, rock out.
On the stage were a handful of DJs broadcasting their beats through a speaker system where the sound waves are picked up via an FM transmitter and then picked up by headphones. It becomes part of what feels like an inside joke or some unstated understanding that those wearing the headphones are there to get down, dancing as if they were at a raging concert. Because, well, beneath those ear buds, they are. On the contrary, to the outsider, it looks as if people are dancing to nothing. Which is awesome.
The exclusiveness of the event made it all the more intriguing to watch and more fun to be dancing along. Smiles plastered pretty much every face as far as I could see as people danced, completely carefree and blissfully unaware of the world void of music beyond the headphones.
The Silent Disco at LarkFEST was organized by Gravity Entertainment, Dreamy Productions & SINsation Sound and was sponsored by Bombers Burrito Bar and the Lark Street Business Improvement District. Participants were given the option of which DJ they wanted to tune into. This year, for the first silent disco to hit Albany and LarkFEST specifically, talent included The Dark Flow, Eric Stewart, Jay Balance, Lazer & Blazer, DJ Scooter, RekOne, Milkdud, Scott Siz, Robin Moreau, Envy & Ballistic. Silent Storm Sound System provided the sound equipment.