With its headphones-only events, buzzworthy new outfit Silent Chicago serves up dance party realness without a sound.
The sounds of silence: Headphones-wearing partygoers groove to three different DJs at Silent Chicago’s launch party in January 2016.
What can you expect at a silent party? “Oh, you can expect to dance,” says Elliot Echols, one of the founders of noiseless club concept Silent Chicago. With so many nightlife venues in the Windy City catering to very specific niche audiences, Echols and co-founder Mike Johnson launched Silent Chicago in late 2015 “to [bring] people together who normally wouldn’t be together.” Arriving at an ever-changing venue (past locales have included Rio Chicago, The Society Lounge, and Venue- One), Silent Chicago partygoers don glowing headphones that can toggle between three DJs, each spinning their own unique playlist, from EDM to ’80s to reggae.
The result is a mass of hundreds of 20-, 30-, and 40-somethings “from all walks of life” in their own party zones, together. “Everyone loses their ego [and just] enjoys themselves,” says the 27-year-old suburbanite Echols of the experience, which encourages attendees to let their inhibitions melt away as they sing and dance along to their preferred beat. Can’t get enough of the experience? Silent Chicago is on the move in 2017, as Echols expects to be floating on Lake Michigan and silencing screams during open-air movie events across the city. “It’s just an awesome time,” Echols enthuses. “It’s genuine, and [it makes] you feel young again.”