On Nov. 9, Nighthawks Entertainment hosted a Silent Disco in the gymnasium of the UNG Recreation Center on the Dahlonega Campus. Silent discos are events where music is broadcast to wireless headphones instead of using speaker systems.
Silent discos are becoming more popular because they allow the event to continue past noise curfews, the times when the use or operation of any loudspeaker system, or similar devices, between certain hours on weekends and holidays, or near residential, noise-sensitive or public areas without a city permit is prohibited.
Event coordinator for the Silent Disco, Chloe Shepard, was excited to recount the details of just how successful UNG’s Silent Disco was.
“We had a really amazing turnout, our attendance of students that swiped their cards ended up being 270 students with other students signing in without their cards,” Shepard said. “We originally saw this event done at UGA and then again at our national convention we go to each year. We thought this was a different event but still a ton of fun for everyone that came out. One of my main goals is to bring new creative events to campus that are still fun but can bring students out of their comfort zone, and this did just that.”
Silent Disco has become a way for individuals with autistic spectrum disorders, who often experience sensory overload at many social events (especially a nightclub’s bright lights and loud sounds), to experience popular social activities. According to the Center for Disease Control “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.” However, the ability to control the volume, switch between the provided channels, and, if necessary, removing the headphones for a moment of quiet means that individuals on the spectrum can attend social events without becoming overwhelmed.
Quiet Events is a party planning service, primarily in planning Silent Disco events all over the United States and Canada.
“We have been told by many parents that while their kids who have autism or ADHD love Quiet Clubbing parties because they focus specifically on the music,” Quiet Events posted on their website. “The headphones create a barrier with others, yet the colors on the headphones make you part of a group. At Quiet Events we have also worked with kids and adults with disabilities as well. Hearing impaired, physically handicapped, and many others. What Quiet Events are experts at, is bringing everyone together to have fun regardless of their age, background, social status and even mental health and physical abilities.”