Sept. 4, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
A crowd of about 2,000 turned out for a Silent Disco party on Thursday night, vastly exceeding capacity for the event space.
Silent Disco is a free, outdoor dance party at Hunters Point South Park, where dancers enjoy music from individual headphones.
The event is presented by Lincoln Center Local in partnership with Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. They hosted the event for the first time at Hunters Point last year, and this year, it was expanded to all five Boroughs.
Doors for Silent Disco opened at 6 p.m. A dance lesson took place at 6:30 p.m., and the party started at 7:30 p.m.
By 8 p.m., the event-space – a dance floor set up against the waterfront next to LIC Landing – was filled with cheering, shaking partygoers.
Meanwhile, hundreds more were lined up along the boardwalk, waiting for an opportunity to join the party.
“Last year, you were able to walk in and out, and everybody had a chance to go in. This year, we’ve been sitting around for an hour and a half, and nothing,” attendee Lilly Rojas said.
Last year’s Silent Disco saw about 1,200 people in the same size event space, according to Van Bramer. He estimated that about 2,000 attended last night.
“Once we get in there, we’re going to dance our pants off,” attendee Roxanne Robinson said. But, she added, she was frustrated to see dancers leave the floor without checking out their headphones, so that the line could not advance.
According to William Petz, founder of Quiet Events, which rented equipment for the event to Lincoln Center Local and managed the line, there were 500 headphones available at a time for the night.
He noted that dancers could leave the floor but keep a hold on their headphones for bathroom breaks. “[What] if you stood on line for an hour, but then you wouldn’t be able to use the bathroom?” he explained.
“One of the problems is you can’t get more headphones than space,” Borough President Melinda Katz said during the event.
She floated the possibility of expanding the event space for future Silent Discos.
“We certainly know for next year,” she said. “It’s still exciting. We’re making good use of the Manhattan skyline.”
“I knew it would be well attended, but I would say that the response was better than I could have ever expected,” Van Bramer said. “I think expanding the dance floor, and expanding the number of people that can dance at any one moment in time, will be a priority [next year].”
“I think it was a big success because of the turnout,” Rob Basch, president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy said. He similarly suggested expanding either the event space or hours for future Silent Discos.
Ultimately, Thursday’s party was extended an extra half hour, to 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the line, a Lincoln Center spokesperson said.
On the dance floor at Silent Disco A video posted by QueensPost (@queenspost) on Sep 4, 2015 at 1:54pm PDT