D I Shhh C O

There was one thing I really didn’t like in Edinburgh this year – the bloody Silent Disco.

As I mentioned a while ago, we’ve been going to Edinburgh for a good few years now. Its taken until this year – and then only once – for us to hear the one o’clock gun fired from the castle every day. And we’ve actually been in the castle at the right time at least once.

However, every day of our visit to Edinburgh this year we encountered the Silent Disco.

The disco was a crowd event roaming the streets with each person listening to music on headphones.  I don’t even like traditional noisy discos, so I’m hardly going to be drawn to a silent one.

As a rule, from what I know about a silent disco, they’re normally in a club space and people just happily dance to the music they’re listening to. This one, however, was a mobile phenomenon as a gaggle of people generally just got in the way of people trying to get to and from shows. Or cars. Or just anyone wanting to use a pavement.

What they’d do – and what sort of renders the silent disco as a bit of a misnomer – is stop and make a lot of noise, either singing along to the song or dancing and clapping. They were like a flash mob, but a really annoying one.

We ran into them every day we were there.

On once occasion one of the crowd tried to grab me to dance with them. I mean, me wouldn’t dance in the street at the best of times. Let alone when a strange woman lurches out of the crowd and tries to hold my hand.

Carole thought it looked like fun. That it was just a group of people having fun and enjoying themselves. I guess at the core that’s what it was, but people enjoying themselves en masse have a habit of becoming Legion and, in this case, that Legion was an arsehole.

There have been, it turns out, quite a few complaints about the silent disco. Whether it’s the fact that the just crossed roads willy-nilly, pushed people out of the way of their revelry or stopped outside venues before shows and got in the way of people trying to get into queues or the queues themselves they have certainly left an impression on visitors to the Fringe, other performers, the front of house volunteers and the normal people of Edinburgh who aren’t that keen on the Fringe at the best of times.

And not in a good way.