Silent Disco is Too Quiet

Dance party with music played into headphones not quite a crowd draw


We’ve all wondered if a tree falls where no one can hear it, if it makes a sound. Well, last night at Kin Lounge a Silent Disco was scheduled, and even though the sound was muted on purpose, not many heard it.

The idea was fun. A silent disco is a dance party without a traditional speaker system. Instead, partiers wear wireless headphones and listen to music through an FM transmitter.

The idea reportedly first appeared in a 1969 Swedish science fiction film. During the 1990s, folks found that the best way to gather en mass but not get too loud was to utilize headsets and portable audio devices.

Kin Lounge is a rooftop bar at downtown’s Manchester Grand Hyatt. It’s a pretty setting. Blame a May gray day that led to a chilly (for San Diego) evening, or a Thursday school night or lack of interest, but not many people came to put on the 100 wireless headphones provided by Sennheiser.

Nate Benedetto and Kristi McCauley showed up in the spirit. The couple sported headbands and quickly put on headphones, which housed techno music played by an on-site DJ. “We’re on the silent disco circuit, we come to all of these,” joked Benedetto. He was making the best of an empty venue trying an idea that may just be ahead of its time.

Ron Donoho is a regular contributor to His Web site ( is dedicated to news, sports, culture, happy hours and all things downtown.

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