Enter the world of Quiet Clubbing, a concept conceived in Europe but tweaked for American habits. The attending patrons of Quiet Clubbing are given headphones with three channels and they can control which of the three live DJs playing they listen too. There are no complaints from neighbors and no need for zillion dollar sound systems. It sounds like a novel way to fill in the blanks of a club calendar as patrons seem to love it.
William Petz, Quiet Events founder, brought the concept to NYC in 2012 after original experiencing it on a cruise. The connections and interaction these parties foster keep people coming back. Nightclub & Bar caught up with Petz to find out more.
Nightclub & Bar (NCB): Why do you call it Quiet Clubbing and not Silent Disco?
William Petz: Firstly, in the US we don’t use the term ‘disco’ unless we are talking about what our parents did with their bellbottoms and pointing their fingers in the air. We also don’t only target the underground, after hour EDM scene, but also the mainstream young professional mix of all genre scenes.
NCB: You just had an event in NYC. Tell us how it works.
Petz: It’s amazing! We sell out 300 tickets in advance for these parties, specifically this one because it was at Toshi Rooftop penthouse in a hotel. The views of the Empire State Building are outstanding and because it is a hotel, were the only ones who can party there because after 12 o’clock they don’t want to disturb their guest or the neighbors across the street. We have up to three live DJs spinning at once with different types of music mixing between Top 40, 80’s & 90’s, Hip Hop, EDM or whatever the guest DJ wants to spin.
NCB: This has been very successful in Europe. Did you need to tweak it for American patrons?
Petz: Yes, we completely changed it! In addition to the rebranding of the name “Silent Disco” to “Quiet Clubbing”, we made sure to target all types of people from yuppies to burners. We also decided to use special headphones that could support three channels of music & LED colors that indicated what channel people are listening to. In addition to our normal parties, we host City Parties in which our partygoers get a unique experience of bar hopping, flash mob, dance party, and a tour of their city all in one.
NCB: Nietzche said, "And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear." Is it odd to watch people dancing to the beat of three different drummers when you don't have the head set on?
Petz: Nietzche is spot on! What makes this so special is that those with the headphones “get it”; they are in their own secret party. Those that are looking at them think their crazy! Until they put a pair on themselves, and their “you’re crazy” face turns in to “OMG, this is awesome” face.
NCB: Is this a craze or a futuristic means to fill up spots?
Petz: Surprisingly we have 20-30% of return party-goers at each event. They bring friends who bring more friends.
NCB: Besides Community Boards loving this what are some of the other benefits?
Petz: For people it’s by far just a better way to go clubbing. It’s more social than other club scenes as you can actually have a conversation if desired and you always find music that you like listening to because there are three DJs. The DJs can see by the color of everyone’s headphones if people are listening to them, so if they realize no one is, they’ll change up the music. In addition, revelers don’t lose their voice or have a headache at the end of the night screaming to be heard. For bar owners, they don’t have to worry about getting noise complaints and we find more people stay in the bar drinking; this is due to having a wider selection of music and the friends that just want to chill out and not dance can do so without screaming.
NCB: Are you are doing weekly parties in spots here and there? Will there be an all silent club down the road?
Petz: We don’t have our own club, but we do parties almost every weekend. If we are not at a rooftop or unique club, we’re partying on the subway or walking down the street with a few hundred people. The concept is still relatively new and it’s not easy to get people to accept it until they are exposed to it, so there is opportunity in the future for there to be a Quiet Only Dance Club.
NCB: How did you get into this business?
Petz: I experienced this on a cruise ship and as most people’s first impression; I thought it was a horrible idea. However, there was nothing else to do so I did it. I absolutely loved it and wanted to do it again. No one was doing it in NYC, so decided to give it a shot.
NCB: What other events do you do?
Petz: In addition to our Quiet Clubbing Parties, we take these parties mobile. With 100-150+ people, we have two tracks of music and guide people throughout NYC on a dance party anywhere and everywhere you could image. It’s by far the craziest and most fun you’ll have in NYC. In the summer we do host outdoor movie events on roof
tops, the benefit of the headphones is we can stream several languages and no matter how far you are from the speakers or noise from traffic you can hear the movie perfectly.
NCB: Do you host private parties?
Petz: Absolutely! We offer both rentals and private services so that anyone can put on their own Quiet Clubbing Event. Many corporations have used us for corporate team building parties or charities for fundraising.
NCB: What are the three questions you always get asked?
#1 – Is it clean? Yes! We use antibacterial wipes before and after each event.
#2 – Is it social? Totally! Unlike a regular club here you can actually chat up that girl or guy without screaming.
#3 – When is the next one? We have a full list on www.QuietEvents.com