DJ Freddy B, aka Fred W. Burau IV, was skeptical at first. He thought silent discos might just be gimmicks, but after learning about the concept, he also saw a unique vehicle that would help him stand out in the highly saturated Las Vegas DJ circuit. There might be something to technology that enabled a pop-up dance club experience.
“During a traditional nightclub set, you still see a lot of people on their smartphones,” said Freddy. “I noticed how during our silent discos in Vegas, people would forget about their phones for a minute. They laughed and danced together. Couples would appear at the LINQ, kissing and dancing close, lost in the music.”
Freddy B—an Ohio native, musician, emcee and veteran club DJ who is currently a resident of all four Wynn properties on The Strip—has been on the decks for every Las Vegas Sound Off event in 2014, creating buzz and danceable mixes on Fremont Street (DTLV Wednesdays) and at Tuesday night BLOQ Parties at the LINQ.
“We had to prove the concept to ourselves and to our partner venues,” said Freddy. “When we first started at the LINQ, I was set up on a card table in a corner. Three months later, we’ve been moved to a full-fledged stage in the middle. They shut the fountain down and have brought in lighting and video techs. We’ve put in a lot of hard work and late nights. Watching it grow has been thrilling.”
There were a few wrinkles to DJing a silent disco, even for a longtime vet like Freddy: Minus a booth speaker that lets a DJ hear the mix without the delay from the speakers on the dance floor, he was totally reliant on the headphones, in which he would hear the song being played and the song being queued simultaneously.
“You can’t split the song into separate headphones. If you take the headphones off, you suddenly have no idea what’s going on,” said Freddy B, laughing. “The first time I turned the headphones off, I thought I’d shut down the party.”
Now he’s hooked on the experience. A mob of dancers on the street in glowing headphones singing the chorus to Bel Biv Devoe’s “Poison” makes heads turn. People have seen it online and in the streets and want to know more, driving buzz that Freddy appreciates.
Hopefully, this is just the beginning. Every week Freddy B envisions more applications and venues for silent discos and beyond in Las Vegas, turning an entrepreneurial eye to the medium’s possibilities. We’re thrilled and grateful to have this polished pro on our side as we grow the silent experience in Las Vegas. Stay tuned, and check out Sound Off CEO Castel Valere-Couturier’s interview with Freddy B below…