The Willow Festival: The Sound of Silence

Silent Discos have been an alternative music experience at festivals for years. However, at The Willow Festival, in Peterborough last weekend, Rocket Park Studios hosted a new music phenomenon: The Silent Stage.

It’s like singing into my hairbrush or singing in the shower. I’ve never done anything so surreal

This was indeed a surreal experience. With headphones connecting the audience to the live band, the Silent Stage became the most intimate gig at the festival. Without headphones, the bands were mime-artists, the audience jokers. Baffled onlookers stared in disbelief as we sung (mainly out of tune) and danced around in seeming silence. A touch of exclusivity excites tremendous curiosity. And as these onlookers realised the connection between our headphones, they rushed to be part of the strange sight, desperate not to miss out on the secret sound of silence. 

That was not all. With eight stages at The Willow Festival, The Silent Stage was ahead of the rest in terms of noise pollution and green energy. The transmitter for the headphones relied on pedal-power. Therefore, if no-one pedalled, the silence became deafening. At the risk of an interruption in their set, the bands encouraged the audience to keep pedalling to keep the music. Children, teenagers and adults leapt on the bicycles, danced in their seats, and burned their energy to power the music. All in all, it was a wonderful weekend working collaboratively with Rocket Park Studios to put together such a unique experience. We hope to replicate The Silent Stage in the near future and revel in more strange and secret gigs.