Partying en masse with a pair of wireless headphones has become a craze among clubbers, not only in Seoul, but worldwide. It has become such a widespread recreational activity that earlier this year it was added as an entry to the online Oxford dictionary. Now how’s that for catching on? The silent disco at Hongdae Park was the ultimate opportunity to give my new 50mm f/1.8D lens, which I had bought a few hours earlier, a test run. This public sphere was transformed into a communal clubbing ground: with balloons bobbing above heads, arms rhythmically swaying and palms clapping in appreciation of the tunes. DJ Space Munkey and Some Guy energised the partygoers with their mixes, which had them dancing for hours, unaware of the disappearing time. We didn’t have to pay for overpriced drinks, instead we opted for ‘substitutes’ found at nearby convenience stores.
The ‘progressive’ thing about a silent disco is that it doesn’t disturb the peace, so nearby residents can get some shut eye. Although luckily Hongdae (the university district) doesn’t need to concern itself with such matters because it’s densely populated with clubs, bars and restaurants rather than houses. Less than 10 metres away, on the other side of the park, people were watching a band perform. These two events seemed to partake in a symbiotic relationship as people filtered from one to the other. What appealed to me was that there weren’t any spatial confines. I also felt a sense of relief as a non-smoker because the we were in the open air. If this is the future of clubbing then I may be clubbing well into my mid-fifties.
Keep your eyes open for the next silent disco event. Find out more details on the Facebook page ‘Silent Disco, Korea’. There are usually 300 available headphones. They are distributed on a ‘first come, first serve basis’ so make sure you get there early. The event is free of charge (can I get a woot woot?), however donations are always greatly appreciated. Make sure you bring your ARC (ID card), which will be returned to you in exchange for the headphones.