'Shhhh!' Quiet clubbing dance craze comes to Ottawa

A company from New York City that specializes in a growing trend called 'Quiet Clubbing' is busting onto the Ottawa scene and has plans to go nationwide.

'I mean it's huge in the United States and crazy in Europe as well, so it's just time.'

This group got some dancing in at a "quiet clubbing" party Friday at the Baja Burger Shack before the rain started falling. (Robyn Miller/CBC)

A company based in New York City that specializes in a trend known as "quiet clubbing" is now making noise in Ottawa.

On Friday, about 75 people braved thunderstorm watches and warnings to dance part of the night away at Mooney's Bay Park in near-silence, at a party put on by Quiet Events.

"It's kind of a cool concept, right, because Ottawa ... they're a little stringent with the rules," said Tyler Monette, who came out for the party at the Baja Burger Shack.

"We put the headphones on, they don't hear us, it's all good."

Clubgoers at Mooney's Bay got to choose from three different DJs on their headsets. (Robyn Miller/CBC)

The concept is simple: clubgoers are given headphones when they arrive at the party and can choose to listen to one of three different DJs. The headphones are colour-coded red, green or blue to indicate what music wearers are listening to at any given time.

The result looks similar to normal nightclubs — but for people who aren't wearing the headphones, it's oddly quiet.

Organizers hope trend will take off in Canada

"I mean, it's huge in the United States and crazy in Europe as well, so it's just time to come here to Canada," said Liz Van Den Akerboom of Quiet Events Canada.

Friday's party was the second that Quiet Events held Ottawa this summer, and while the rain put a damper on attendance, Van Den Akerboom is confident the trend will become more popular.

Two women listen to DJs while wearing headphones at a "quiet clubbing" party in Ottawa. (Robyn Miller/CBC)

"I think the timing is right," she said. "We have numerous generations used to headsets, so it's not a concept that's foreign to them."

'People are weird together and it's really fun.'

The quiet dance parties originated in Europe, where they were called "Silent Discos." About eight years ago Quiet Events made its mark on the clubbing scene in New York City, and according to Van Den Akerboom, the company now has plans to expand across Canada.

Those who came out to Friday's dance party seemed to enjoy the concept, bopping along to a soundtrack only they and other clubgoers could hear.

"It's kind of like me in my room," said 15-year-old Jada Rodgers. "People probably think you're weird, but people are weird together and it's really fun."

Similar events are planned in Ottawa next month, and Van Den Akerboom said there are also plans to branch out to other cities in Ontario and Quebec before heading west.