Student - January 24, 2008

‘A big silent gap between me and the rest’

A first in Wageningen: the student club KSV St Franciscus held a silent disco on Thursday 17 January. One of the Resource reporters checked it out.

The idea is that everyone has headphones on, through which loud music is played, and then they dance to it. Outsiders hear nothing, but see people dancing – a concept that could lead to hilarious scenes. The idea is actually pretty last century, but it should be interesting to see what Wageningen students do with an idea that is new for them. Things start well: the mensa is full of people dancing. The hundred headphones are all in use and late arrivals have to wait until one of the dancing queens has had enough and is prepared to let go of the headgear. But none of them look as though they’ll be stopping soon. With a blissful grin on their face the dancers are all singing along and gyrating in Elvis-fashion. The disco is not silent at all, as there’s always someone removing their headphone and screaming at their dance partner ‘wanna beer?’ ‘What?’, is the usual reply, after which the person remembers to take the headphone off, and repeats the question before screaming ‘yeeah!’

After observing this ritual twenty times, it’s time to experience the headphone personally. A couple of inter-headphone screaming sessions is enough: we decide it's an autistic affair. Even though you’re all listening to the same music, you feel no connection with those around you. It’s impossible to talk or gossip, and as you drink your beer a feeling of loneliness wells up. A drunken German friend describes the evening perfectly: ‘There is a big silent gap between me and the rest.’

The silent disco might lead to poetic inspiration, but it’s no guarantee for a stylish end to the evening. Beer is beer, and too much is too much. And even a hundred headphones can’t change that.

Re:act