This morning, I stumbled over an article about Silent Disco (in Swedish – please use Google Translate), a new concept for conferences and events, where people rent LED earphones with three pre programmed channels which makes it possible for guests to listen to different music at the same party. (Silent Disco Sweden) The funny thing… I was 30 years ahead of my time and did something similar at a birthday party in a garage back in the 90’s.

When I moved to Sweden, I was a big Elton John, Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson fan. Most of my classmates listened to Swedish punk music, that was not at all something I’d enjoy. In fact… to this day I can’t stand it, to be honest and still do anything I can to avoid it. I remember preparing for a birthday party and trying to choose the music on my cassette player and CD-recorder (I had just got one!) Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything to please my newly won friends, so I was in a bit of a pickle (and listening to music I didn’t like, let alone BUING a CD was NOT an option!) I could ask my friends to bring their favorite music and we could take turns, but… It’s my party, right? So my creativity kicked in. 

silent disco magdalena bibik-westerlund

I simply asked my friends to bring their walkmans so that we could all listen to whatever we wanted at the same time!! I wish that we could document this Silent Disco 1.0 because – as you can imagine – it was a success!! The only issue was trying not to jump into a couple teenage doing what could have been their first ever slow dance…

Creativity often starts with a need for a solution to a problem. I have been talking about this experiment for years as a funny story, today I wish I had monetized it. However, it’s not as important to me in my 40’s as it was in my teenage years to only listen to the songs I love. As a matter of fact, I do have favorite tunes in all genres nowadays. 

Best of luck to Silent Disco Sweden – you have an awesome idea on your hands! And good job color coding those earphones, so that slow dancers are not in danger!