Silent Disco, Shhhilence

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.

Silent Disco

Silent Disco

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.

Iga Motylska

Iga Motylska is a Johannesburg-based freelance writer, photojournalist, sub-editor and blogger. She is published in numerous local and international publications, including: Forbes Africa, Forbes Woman Africa, Forbes Life Africa, CNBC Africa, Ventures Africa, Marie Claire, Sawubona, AA Traveller, Fastjet inflight magazine and Seoul Magazine among numerous others. Her editorial interests range from documenting the entrepreneurial spirit to women's and human rights issues, environmental affairs and of course travel writing.


  1. Hello Iga! Nice to meet you too!:) I am so touched by your long reply!!! Thank you so much! Ok now I have a peace of mind. I will update you again on my trip!:) Thank you again:)

  2. Hi Fren!
    Sorry that I don’t know your name… I am so happy to have found your blog! It is really very interesting, informative and beautiful! I will be coming to Seoul in August! Just wanna ask you if clubbing is safe there? I’ve heard how bustling and vibrant Hongdae is and the silent disco seems really fun! But I am still a little worried. Any insights abt this frm u? Thanks in advance!:)

    • Iga Motylska, nice to meet you! Merci Beaucoup! :) I hope that you will enjoy and make the most of your time in Seoul. I go clubbing to Hongdae/Sinchon, Gangnam and Itaewon quite often and have not had any trouble, and we stay out until all hours of the morning. I think that in general South Korea is a very safe country. I have lived in South Africa for most of my life where you really ought to be very careful but South Korea has allowed me to relax with a peaceful mind. One always has to be respectful and open-minded in one’s approach to others; I, personally, find people here to be VERY friendly and helpful. Many of my friends have had their cellphones and wallets returned to them after having misplaced them-situations which seem inconceivable in other parts of the world. That being said whenever you throw alcohol into the mix it never hurts to be aware of your surroundings and situation but then again that would apply in any country. You really have no reason to worry. ^^,

  3. This is a very considerate group of music lovers. They are having fun without annoying anyone. people who love to open their car window and blast the next block with their loud music should read this, maybe they’ll get the hint. Very informative. great post!

    • Thank you, I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed it! :) Yeah, I loved that it was held in the open air without disturbing the peace. The new spatial dynamics were also very refreshing. ‘The Island Traveler’ – that sounds like what I want to do when I ‘grow’ up. :)

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