After the announcement of the Silent Trance, a first of it’s kind, we decided we needed to chat to the man behind the idea of Silent Events, Matt to get a better understanding before Transylvania in May. We asked him everything from his first discovery of the silent disco, to what people can expect at Redemption Island and how the technology works.
MCBN: Tell us how you came to discover/experience this style of partying for the first time? How did you come to hear about this technology?
Matt – –We first came across this phenomenon at Glastonbury about 10 years ago when we were trudging home to our tent at 3am, still keen to party, and came across a marquee full of revelers “having it” in semi-silence.
MCBN: This new “silent party” concept has become increasingly visible across the country in the past 2 years, making appearances at events such as Rocking the Daisies, Park Acoustics, Plus1 Festival and new events like Secret Sunrise. What do you feel the response has been like from the Cape Town crowd to Silent Events?
Matt— After a few years of pushing this concept all over SA we’re delighted that so many people are really getting into what is not just a fun and genuinely new partying experience but also able to provide all sorts of other experiences from yoga to outdoor cinema to brand activations. Every month we find ourselves using this equipment for something new.
MCBN: How do the headsets work if there are multiple DJs playing? Can you change a channel and what kind of sound are we talking here?
Matt–The equipment works on UHF radio frequencies that are much more stable and far reaching that Bluetooth or Wifi. As well as a volume switch there’s a button on the side of the headphones that allows the listener to scroll through up to 4 channels of excellent sound. The LED lights in the headphones flash Red, Yellow, Blue or Green depending on which DJ you’re tuned into.
MCBN: Describe a Silent Event party to us, we can imagine it must be something very unique to experience.
Matt—The idea that everyone can be happy with the music (even those without headphones who don’t want to hear any music at all! ) means that it can be quite a surreal and subjective experience. It allows parties at times and in venues that wouldn’t usually be allowed which can be hilarious and the colours on the headphones cause a camaraderie of people on the same wave-length that means that the whole thing is always a lot of laughs.
MCBN: You will be joining the team at Transylvania Redemption Island Part 2 this year to host SA’s very first Silent Trance. How do you feel to be a part of this and to be testing waters at an event primarily centered around hard sound and dance?
Matt— I’m delighted to be working with JP and the crew on this. I’ve enjoyed the Cape Town Trance scene since the early days of Alien Safari in the 90s and am looking forward to trying a new angle on the late night Trance experience
MCBN: You have been able to help Transylvania stay true to their 24-hr party status by allowing the music to continue past 2 am despite the restrictions they were facing. Given the way the current event licensing and laws are being shaped for the future here in SA do you think silent parties will help pave the way to preserving 24-hour parties?
Matt—I hope so…I think there are quite a few of us who are happy to do whatever it takes to preserve the 24- hour party in SA
MCBN: We’re beyond excited to see this all unfold at Redemption Island Part 2 this year. Have you collaborated with an event of this magnitude before? I mean 1500+ trance heads stomping in silence is one to go down in the books.
Matt— Absolutely. There hasn’t been an event of this type & size in SA before and Redemption Island is such a great site for it.
MCBN: Do you guys have any surprises in store for the dancers between the hours of 2 am – 8 am on a Sunday morning?
Matt— Sure, I’ve never been to a Trance Party where there aren’t a few surprises
MCBN: Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to all Transylvanians attending the Silent Trance for the first time, what can they expect and do you have any tips?
Matt–The sound quality is great and you’ll get fully immersed in the clarity of it, but it’s a lighter, headier experience than a thumping bass thudding through your chest. Also, it’s not completely silent… you can’t stop people whooping & laughing after all!
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