That’s because for ARTafterDARK: Afrofuture the museum is bringing to the first large-scale public silent disco to Honolulu. Silent discos are events where people dance to music broadcast straight to wireless headphones. While they might seem silly to the uninitiated, their allure lies in their ability to keep the beats pumping after noise ordinances and curfews (which is why ARTafterDARK shuts down at 9 p.m.).
While silent discos have been around for over a decade—they got their start at the Glastonbury Festival in England in 2005—recent advances in audio and broadcasting technology have made these soundless shindigs a big hit on the mainland, and now they make their way to Honolulu. “I had my first taste of silent disco back at a festival out in Amsterdam back in 2010,” says AAD committee member Eddie Quan. “I was a skeptic at first but as soon as I put on the headphones and stepped amongst the crowd, I was sold. The music pumping through was crisp and clear, the excitement of the crowd was contagious, and I found myself getting lost in the fun. It’s a brilliant new technological twist on a timeless social activity!”
To prepare for the event, the museum is shipping in hundreds of wireless headphones from Sound Off Experience on the mainland. The specialized headphones feature a color changing LED light and the ability to switch between three audio channels. The headphones will be handed out to the first 500 people that walk through the front entrance.
Vying for listeners at the hushed happening are four DJs: Maynard G, Davey Shindig, Dj Sejika, and count weevil. The DJs will rotate through three DJ stations located in Central Courtyard. The stations will broadcast to one of the three audio channels on the headsets. As ARTafterDARKers tune in to different stations, the LED lights on the headsets will change color, so the DJs will be able to see just how many people are listening what they’re laying down.