You haven’t lost your hearing or your mind. When the Sunset Green fills up on Friday and Saturday nights — May 25-26 — the mob will be dancing to the sounds only they can hear on wireless headsets. And while the concept of “silent disco” is well established on the mainland, it’s a new experience for Key West.
“It’s cool visually,” said Anthony Vandaley. He’s in charge of entertainment for Keys Collection, the four hotels in Key West including the two that share the “green,” or lawn between 24 North and The Gates hotels. It is a surreal sight — hundreds of people dancing energetically, in almost total silence.
The event includes Miami-based DJs on three different, color-coded stages — DJ Mykel, DJ Art-A-Funk and DJ Tillery James. Party-goers rent headsets for $10 each, and then can tune into red, green or blue channels.
“They’ll be playing three different genres — hip hop, house music and techno,” Vandaley said.
While this is a first for the Keys, it’s been around since the mid-’90s. In the U.S., the band Flaming Lips is given credit for a concert in Texas where they distributed FM radio receivers and headphones to the audience. About the same time, a U.K. arts festival did the same thing with a huge video screen and personal, portable radios.
The Silent Disco concept is also a work-around for sound curfews. The quiet doesn’t disturb the neighbors.
“In fact, the event runs a little later, until 11 p.m.,” Vandaley said.
Scattered around the property will be some full liquor bars and a beer station. Organizers will distribute glow sticks and guests are encouraged to apply glow paint liberally, best seen under the black lights also set up about the property.
Thomas Ladd of Miami’s Sounds Good Entertainment is organizing the silent disco, just as he has for backstage parties at Lollapalooza where there are multiple stages, as well as smaller parties staged on beaches in New England.
Sure, it might rain. If the weather is really bad, the party will move inside to the hotel lobby.
“But I’ve been to plenty of good parties in the rain,” said Ladd. “Plus, people will be sweating already from all the dancing. It’s a different style rave.”
The party runs from 8 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, May 25 and 26 at the Sunset Green on North Roosevelt Blvd. in Key West. There is no admission, no minimum age.
Pride Week Foam Fest: Mark the calendar for Saturday, June 9. Sunset Green is hosting a foam party — it’s in the pool! — from 2 to 5 p.m.