Silent Disco in Kampala, Uganda

I experienced my first silent disco last Saturday night. Unbeknownst to me, it’s become a thing in Kampala. The National Theatre, Bayimba Art Festival, the now defunct MishMash, and GattoMatto have all hosted silent discos. Huh, who knew?

I’m not going to lie, my friends and I thought the entire thing a little questionable. I mean, the whole point of me finally going out is to socialize. Besides, Ugandans are famous for being super friendly and not addicted to technology. The last thing I want to encourage is a change in this… the whole smart phone thing creeping into Uganda, notwithstanding.

Anyway, we get to Que Pasa, in Kampala’s (cool-kid hang-out spot) Kisementi. It’s a tex-mex restaurant I frequent during the day. The music is very low. The place is full of people sitting, with headsets on, nodding their heads – which are bent over smart phones.

We sit down and immediately start judging the whole thing. How are these people even having any fun? We order a drink. We chat up a guy with his headset around his neck. He says the music is GREAT. We try the headphones. The music is great. And there’s 3 channels of it to choose from. We begin to soften to the idea. A round of tequilas are consumed. Our new friend is leaving and gives us his headset. Rad! For fun, we purchase another and settle in to watch.

This is what we see:

People having fun in a rather quiet way. With DJ Thomaz on blue.

Another drink, more friends show up. We pool our money and get them headsets as well. A round of tequilas. We keep changing channels and have a laugh getting each other to switch when we think our music is better. It’s actually quite social. And the sound is really good.

And the music keeps getting better. Those 3 channels are connected to 3 live DJs who are competing for listeners. The place fills up with happy, dancing (but still very quiet) people. We’re up and shakin’ it. For the next 5 hours.

Chagga was there. Jose Chameleone even showed up and took over DJ RasBrown’s set. If silent disco is good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

I’m totally sold.


That’s DJ Thomaz on blue, Darkmeme on red and RasBrown on green – Thanks guys, you MADE this night!






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