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Silent disco craze spreads

10:19 AM
Silent disco craze spreads
A surprising new musical craze is taking the nation's dance floors by storm - the sound of silence.
Silent discos, in which people dance to music played through personal headphones rather than speakers, was once the preserve of music festivals and special club nights.

But now it is becoming increasingly popular at weddings and private parties, enabling teenagers to dance to their hearts' content without keeping their parents or the neighbours awake all night.

And the fact that dancers can choose between two or more different channels, means classical music fans waltzing to Schubert can in theory share the same floor as ravers partying to hard-core techno music.

Its origins are said to date back to an obscure 1969 Finnish sci-fi film called Ruusujen aika, but its popularity has soared in Britain since it appeared at the 2005 Glastonbury music festival.

It now appears to be entering the mainstream – not unlike karaoke – with home silent disco kits available for about £250.

At least half a dozen companies offering silent disco have set up in the UK in the last three years and all reported business was booming.

One firm, Headphone Disco, has set up franchises in Germany, Ireland and East Africa and is in talks with the British Council about the potential of silent disco being used to promote the UK's image overseas.

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