Things You Should Know: Silent Discos

Welcome to Things You Should Know, our ongoing series on Millennial-fueled trends, events, slang, and memes that will keep you up-to-date on what is happening in youth culture.

Imagine entering a concert venue flooded with neon lights, illuminating thousands of people energetically dancing and swaying… in silence. You have entered into the world of the Silent Disco, a music and event phenomenon that is enticing Millennials to tune in, by tuning out everything but the music.

The Silent Disco hinges on wireless headphone technology. On arrival, attendees are given headphones that utilize radio frequency transmission to broadcast sound through and around any physical objects, and allow partygoers to choose from two or three music channels that they can switch between whenever they like. As opposed to traditional speaker systems, headphones allow listeners maximum sound quality and intensify music events for a more personal experience.

These events bypass the restrictions of traditional concerts because of their silence. Silent Discos allow young adults to party all night long without the troubles of noise violations. The idea for silent concerts was originally conceived in the ‘90s by eco-activists to reduce noise disruption in outdoor spaces. What appeals to Millennials today ranges from rapid exposure to different music genres to vastly improved sound to the feel of a group experience that is poignantly customized. Everyone is dancing, but not necessarily to the same song, and the element of music choice makes each person’s experience unique. Silent Discos allow Millennials to literally dance to the beat of their own drum, engaging in a collective atmosphere while also tuning in for an experience that is all their own.

The popularity of Silent Discos has spread rapidly across…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Retail should be a facilitator for experience, rather than just selling product.”—Sharmandean Reid, Founder, Wah Nails London (YPulse)

Millennials seeking portable booze are cracking open canned wine. Even though the category still only accounts for less than 1% of the Millennial-favorite alcoholic beverages’ market, Nielsen reports it spiked 69% last year and continues to gain ground. An exec at Delicato Family Wines explains, “Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.” (Wine Spectator)

Summer camps are cropping up to teach kids how to become YouTubers. At I-D Tech Camps, Level Up, and Star Camps, kids can learn all about how to, as the latter puts it, “Become an Internet sensation.” They offer courses in how to create and post videos, from shooting clips to editing audio, and how to build their personal brand. But don’t worry, most are framing YouTubing as a hobby, not a career, and setting kids’ expectations accordingly. (WSJ)

A new bill could change the free-to-play profit model that’s made games like Fortnite top earners. Senators have proposed the official ban of “loot boxes,” or items that players can buy (and sometimes must buy) to win a video game, often gambling on what’s inside. Senator Ed Markey explains that “Inherently manipulative game features that take advantage of kids and turn play time into pay time should be out of bounds.” For some, this will eliminate a key revenue stream and open the door to review other in-game purchases.  (The Verge)

A social media overhaul upped Corn Nuts’ sales by 12%—with no paid support.The snack’s sales were stagnant before a new exec took over their Twitter, infusing it with the personable tone food brands have become known for (and sometimes notorious for). Since then, followers spiked from 650 to 21,000, and what they’re calling a “scrappy” strategy “absolutely translated to sales,” reporting that retail sales spiked 12% and Millennials’ repeat purchases rose the same percentage. (Marketing Dive)

The retail apocalypse continues, with 7,000 more stores closing their doors in 2019. CoStar Group estimates that the square footage of retail space closed has topped its own record each year since 2017, and this year they’re “predicting more of the same.” PayLess ShoeSource, Gymboree, Dressbarn, and Charlotte Russe lead the list of number stores planned to shutter this year, as retailers learn to scale down size and up Experiencification for young shoppers. (Business Insider

Quote of the Day: “It’s a really interesting time at the moment in catalog [music]…Sometimes, it’s a question of how we make something out of nothing.”—Tim Fraser-Harding, President, Global Catalogue, Recorded Music at Warner Music Group (Rolling Stone)

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