Thinking of organising or DJing at your own silent disco? You’re going to love it.
A surreal, fascinating, friendly evolution of the party scene – everybody remembers their first time.
However, if you want your gig to go down without a hitch, there are a number of points you need to take into consideration.
In this article, we’re going to discuss all things silent disco, and give you the information you need to ensure your night goes to plan. Read on to find out more.
So, what is a silent disco and how do they work?
Otherwise known as a headphone party or silent rave, the equipment uses radio transmitters to broadcast music wirelessly to LED headphones. The headsets can each receive three channels of music simultaneously so attendees can listen, dance and sing to different music genres at the same. Those without headphones will hear no music!
There are two main types of silent discos:
1) The single-set disco
This is as simple as giving the crowd a pair of headphones each and hooking up the DJ’s decks to a transmitter. This removes the need for speakers and delivers a noise-conscious, single-setlist experience that’s perfect for absolutely any venue. From festival tents to small garden parties, it’ll go down a storm.
2) The multi-channel disco
Not everyone likes the same music, and events like weddings, birthdays and parties are a mixing pot of different tastes. Multi-channel silent discos end the fight for the AUX cord once and forever, by offering a number of different channels, each playing different music. If a guest doesn’t like one song, they can quickly mix up the vibe by switching to another live channel.
Most streaming services and smartphones are compatible with silent DJ equipment, so getting set up with a multi-channel disco can be as simple as grabbing a few headsets, opening up Spotify and choosing what music to play. The entire music industry back catalogue is at your fingertips, so the variety of music styles and genres you can play are endless.
How to DJ a Silent Disco in 5 Steps
If you want to nail your silent disco event, having a clear plan set out is absolutely crucial. Whilst planning your big night, make sure to cover the following steps:
1) Know the size of the event – and plan around it
As with any event you’re hosting yourself, you can go as big or small as you like.
When hosting a silent disco, you need to know how many guests will be there so you can hire the right number of headphones.
The only limitation you may have to take into account is any potential budget for the silent disco setup, so you’ll need to consider whether to hire the silent disco kit you need or buy it outright. This will depend on whether the event will be a one-off or recurring, as well as how big the crowd is going to be.
As a club owner, you could be looking at silent discos as a valuable business opportunity. With no noise pollution, it can be easier to obtain a license to throw a midweek event and increase your revenue.
This has great potential in student towns. You’re already rigged up with the staging and lights, so as long as your promoter can attract the crowds, this is a surefire cash cow.
You’ve likely been given a fairly strict budget. Use tools like social media to gauge how the potential attendance numbers may look. Don’t just hire the number of headphones you’d need to cover full capacity, but also be very careful not to fall short.
It may be worth taking equipment hire costs into account when setting ticket/entry prices, as well as enticing the crowds with the best DJ your budget can lure.
Hosting from home
If you’re looking to throw a smaller, more intimate party with just friends and family, you won’t need to go mad on the headphone quantities. As long as you have enough to cover each guest plus a few spares, you’re good to go.
In terms of lighting and extras, you could already have that decorative disco ball in the attic, but it’s unlikely you’ve got a secret stash of strobe lights, lasers and fog machines.
Good news is this stuff is also hirable – just be careful where you assign the bulk of the budget. Your party, your preferences!
2) Pick the right location size
What’s the occasion? This will factor into the location you settle upon. For example, a small get together for a birthday might be best hosted in the comfort of your own home or garden. There are many companies, including ourselves that hire out small quantities of the required equipment so there is no need for you to purchase the expensive equipment outright.
If you have a few too many guests for a silent disco to be safely hosted in your own home, look for your local small music venues, pub function rooms, village hall or social clubs. With the current state of the music industry, they won’t charge you extortionate amounts for venue hire and may already have a stage and lighting set up.
If it’s a big enough occasion and you’ve got the budget, then why not go all out and look into hosting a night at one of your local nightclubs. They will have the most space for higher guest numbers, as well as the highest quality lighting – and not to mention the bars. We have thousands of silent headphones in stock and can cater for huge events around the UK.
3) Choose your audio sources
Your next priority is making sure you have your audio source(s). This will be either the DJ you’re hiring who may have their own decks, or 2 to 3 audio input devices – depending on how many of the 3 channels you plan to use on the headphones.
A DJ would simply perform his usual routines, but have his outputs set to the transmitter instead of speakers.
If you want to just choose and play the music yourself, just select your devices. Phones, laptops and just about any device with audio storage or streaming apps, as well as an audio output that can connect to the transmitters via a 3.5mm jack can be used.
4) Nail the lighting
The golden rule of DJing a silent disco is to make your audience forget that it’s, well, silent.
Whilst a great setlist and mix should be your focus, correct lighting can also be a great way to set the mood.
Lighting is optional of course, but certainly is recommended for a truly memorable event. There are many different lighting options available to hire, so set yourself a budget and shop around for what takes your fancy.
5) Rent or buy headphones?
This decision should be based on one simple thing – is this a one-off? Or do you plan on doing this regularly?
Hiring is usually the best way to go about it. It’s affordable and efficient. There’s no need to charge, clean, maintain and store the equipment when not in use, and you can change how many headphones you rent each time.
If you do choose to purchase, make sure you find the best quality hardware for your budget. Don’t just opt for the most headphones for the lowest price because this will cost you much more in the long run.
Hosting a Silent Disco on a Budget? We can Help
From a fully-managed DJ service down to well priced equipment rental, we’ve got everything you need to make sure your silent disco goes down a storm. Browse our site or get in touch today for your free quote.
Just remember, when you’re passionately screaming the lyrics to Mr Brightside, those with their headphones off can hear you loud and clear!