Atmosphere going off the (sound) grid

Cumberland festival will have "silent disco" Friday and Saturday nights

  • Aug. 12, 2015 1:00 p.m.
Organizers of The Atmosphere Gathering are offering 500 wireless headphones for rent as part of their silent disco for those to enjoy music late into the evening.

Organizers of The Atmosphere Gathering are offering 500 wireless headphones for rent as part of their silent disco for those to enjoy music late into the evening.

Erin haluschak

Record staff

The Atmosphere Gathering is going silent – that is, after 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights – to make way for a silent disco.

The second annual electronic music and artistic festival is set for Aug. 14 to 16 in Cumberland Village Park, and festival producer Benjamin Howells is bringing a new idea to keep the music going all night long.

In order to facilitate a “slow trickle” away from the festival site and to allow those who want to dance late into the night, organizers have rented 500 pairs of wireless headphones.

“They do a similar thing down at Pemberton (Music Festival) but it was actually our vendor co-ordinator who brought up the idea. We were worried about sound quality (at first), but when you’ve talked to people who’ve experienced it, they say it’s really awesome and great,” he explained.

The headphones are available for a $10 rental fee with ID, and Howells said many U.S. festivals – where the headphones are coming from – hold silent discos.

The music will continue past 1 a.m., but only those with headphones will hear the beat.

“It works well too because we’re complying with the noise extensions – it’s already a generous extension by Cumberland and we wanted to make sure that we don’t go past that time.”

The festival, which is created by Little Island Productions and Cumberland Village Works, had “very few issues” in its inaugural year, said Howells, but some did arise with some people wandering around the village.

The silent disco is one strategy organizers created to help curb the issue, along with increasing the camping area and adding car camping.

“We’re hoping people will slowly exit the site and a small portion will still dance it out in the elixir area (a designated area to unwind or get energized with herbal and super food drinks). We’ve doubled our security and will be doing more perimeter checks.”

Organizers are hoping to see up to 1,800 people on site, but Howells noted his goal is to find a balance between good production and keeping the festival intimate.

“We really believe in the micro-festival format. We draw from the community; almost everything is coming locally.”

Sunday night the final performance is scheduled to end at 10:30 p.m., with the Kumugwe Dancers wrapping up the closing ceremonies by 11 p.m.

For more information visit atmospheregathering.com.