Silent disco gives students some sense of normalcy at Block Party 2021

Silent disco gave students a break from the finals grind

Limited in-person events were held Friday as a part of University Union's year-end activities.
Published: May 15, 2021
Silent Disco dancer outside SU's Women's Building at Block Party 2021

What better way to spend the last day of classes than a silent disco? On Friday, University Union held a socially distanced silent disco event at SU’s Women’s Building as a part of their Block Party event series.

A precursor to the Block Party concert, the disco featured a special set from the British duo Snakehips, and guests were also able to listen to two other music channels on their headphones. Along with the disco, guests could participate in Formula One-style extreme racing and grab lots of swag.

Disco attendee Jack Barsh was impressed by UU’s efforts to have a safe and socially distanced event.

“It feels safe,” Barsh said. “It feels not overwhelming for one of the first times you’re doing things with people outside, the music’s great.”

Along with the disco event, Barsh was excited to see Flo Milli later at the virtual concert featuring Lil TJay as a headliner, Aminé, Dominic Fike, and Sofi Tukker; a lineup that was impressively built by the University Union board and assisting members.

It took a semester’s worth of planning for the UU to plan the event. After having only virtual events for last year’s final concerts, but this year the organization wanted to have a safe, in-person event.

“We tried to incorporate an in-person component to make it feel more together,” UU collaborations co-director Juliette Milber said. “We thought of the silent disco because it’s always something that’s fun.”

UU vice president Alexa Powers said teamwork helped in the planning process.

“It’s been a whole collaborative effort amongst the entire organization because there are so many moving parts,” Powers said.

As a fully student-run organization, the board members had many responsibilities to ensure a successful event. To kickstart the planning process, the organization conducts a survey to the student body to learn student interests.

“We want to make sure we’re staying in tune with what the people want to see,” UU public relations director Annalise Hackett said. “We’re here for the students to make sure they’re being entertained,” Hackett said.

Using the gathered information, UU contacts talent agencies to build a lineup and organize Block Party activities.

“We all collectively run through our options, what makes the most sense,” said concerts co-director Michael Bottazzi. “Everything from availabilities to budgeting to you know, everything else that goes into it, and then base our lineup around all those factors.”

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is a digital producer for The NewsHouse and magazine, news, and digital journalism graduate student.