Silent Disco is a go in Ashland, Medford parks

·2 min read

Aug. 4—Stifled only slightly during the pandemic — and answering an ever-present cry for "something to do" in Southern Oregon — Silent Disco has amassed a loyal fan base of people who dig the concept of rocking out in total quiet.

Hosting events in Medford and Ashland, Silent Movement International began in 2016. Silent Disco offers a fun gathering space with music — audible through headphones — with space to dance, laugh and people-watch.

Silent Disco is held in Lithia Park in Ashland and Pear Blossom Park in Medford. Participants are given a pair of headphones and rock out to their choice of three provided channels, hosted by different DJs, while showered in lights and often donning glow bracelets and other neon or light-up attire.

It's intriguing for onlookers unfamiliar with the concept, says Medford resident Gerad Stebbins.

Stebbins and his wife, Leslie, took over Silent Movement International, a nonprofit, from founder Jordan Rose at the end of last year. Stebbins said the couple loved the concept and felt like it needed to continue when Rose left the area.

"We took over in late 2021 with only events ... for Lithia Park at the time. Now we host Silent Disco in Medford's Pear Blossom Park, and we're planning to expand even more."

In Lithia Park, Silent Disco is held the first Friday of every month on the lawn near the Plaza. It moves to Pear Blossom Park during Medford's Third Friday happenings.

The events attract about 140 to 170 people, depending on weather — and smoke.

"We have 300 headsets, so we can grow to twice as many, but we've had great turnout," Stebbins said.

"It's just quite the experience. There's a lot of folks that go to bars and things around here, but it feels a little like the city rolls up the sidewalks to families after 8 p.m. This is a family-oriented thing, and the people-watching is way better than you'll get at any bar."

The events cost $10, which includes the headphones. For kids, a "wiggle station" is set up, complete with headphones, keyboards and synthesizers. Kids get to listen to their own creations, hosting their own Silent Disco of sorts.

Silent Disco runs April through October from 6 to 11 p.m. The next event is Friday, Aug. 5, in Lithia Park.

"We will monitor the smoke, and if air quality is bad, we will make the call," according to the group's Facebook page, www.facebook.com/silentmovementinternational/.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Buffy Pollock at 541-776-8784 or bpollock@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @orwritergal.