Marcella Hastings' silent rave will combine dancing, wild costumes and personalized MP3 playlists. Zachary Robert Repko via Flickr Creative Commons

Silent rave to happen tonight in Crane Room

Campus swanster Marcella Hastings is honing her creativity yet again.  Luckily, all of the Tufts community will have a chance to participate in her latest enterprise tonight, April 2, at the Crane Room, where Hastings is set to host a silent rave.  This is no April Fool’s joke; this dance party is actually happening. A silent rave is an event where every person plays their music from an MP3 player in synchronicity, rather than listening to a DJ. In an interview with the Daily, Hastings explained what went into the planning of the event, quite possibly the first of its kind to hit Tufts campus.

Earlier in the semester, as Hastings and her housemates brainstormed events they wanted to hold at their Somerville apartment, they knew that they “really wanted to focus this semester on the awesome people at Tufts and bonding with each other and just doing fun things together as much as we can.”

According to Hastings, when the idea of a silent rave arose, the group jumped on the idea.

“[My housemates and I] realized that this was really an event that wasn’t well-suited to a single house but was really something [we] wanted to open up to the whole community,” Hastings said.

Once the crew had established that this was the event they wanted to see happen, Hastings set to work enlisting the help of friends for various aspects of the planning and implementation of the project. She turned to Andrew Dempsey, a musician who was previously featured in the Daily as an Artsy Jumbo, to put together the playlist.

“I figured, rather than just put together a list of my favorite songs I’d enlist slightly more professional help,” Hastings said. “[Dempsey’s] done a lot of mix tapes … He’s involved in the electronic music scene.  I reached out to him and he agreed to make us an hour-long mix for the event. It’s awesome; I just got it a couple days ago and it is super fun and super energetic so we’re excited about that.”

Along the way, she noted, “[I’ve] had a lot of support … I bounced [the rave] off a lot of people to make sure we would actually have an audience and so a lot of people have been really encouraging. Andrew’s been awesome with the playlist. [Senior Tony Cannistra] helped me with some other advertising.”

Not only has Hastings drawn on the support of multiple friends to put the rave together, but she also drew her inspiration to hold it from a variety of sources. Hastings cited one source of inspiration as Improv Everywhere, a prank-based collective that has hosted silent raves in the past and referred to them as “Mp3 experiments.”

“I was in New York when one of the Improv Everywhere versions was going on,” Hastings said. “Theirs has a lot of instruction, and … props and interaction with the world …  Ours is going to be really just a dance party.”

She also couldn’t help but emphasize the importance of rediscovering her music from years gone by.

“I found my iPod nano from middle school which hasn’t been charged in five years,” Hastings recalled. “I charged it up and listened to my ‘Dancy Dance’ playlist. And it was hilarious. I had things like Missy Elliott followed by the Muppet’s ‘Mahna Mahna‘ (1977).  But the point was I had a really fun time just dancing around my house listening to it, and I thought that would be a great feeling to extend to the whole Tufts community.”

Intrigued readers can make their way to the Crane Room at 8:30 p.m. tonight to dance their hearts out at Hastings’ silent rave.  According to the website for tonight’s event, www.silentrave.club, this is the place to be for those students who “live to dance … need a dose of endorphins before [heading] back to the library [or] want to get pumped before [their] next weekend activity.”

Unsure what to wear?  Hastings’ website has readers covered. It states, “Dress code includes appropriate dancing clothes, which include but are not limited to leotards, crop tops, jungle costumes, bangles, frou-frou, minimalism, excessive scarves, wands, cat ears or whatever you wore to class.”

Last but not least, besides your funky attire, Hastings noted that all you need to bring is your headphones and MP3 device with the playlist available for download from SoundCloud here and on the event website.

In the words of Hastings, putting together the silent rave has “really been a collaborative effort, [and] the impression that I’ve gotten is that this is something the community really wants to see happen.”

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