Talib Kweli DJing silent dance party in Downtown alley

The Brooklyn Paper
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Dance like no one is listening!

A “silent disco” will take over a Downtown alley on July 31, with Brooklyn rapper Talib Kweli DJing a silent set for headphone-bearing dancers.

The dance party will happen in Grove Place, a dead-end lane once dubbed “the worst street in Brooklyn” by Forgotten New York. It is the fifth event held there by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, which cleaned up the spot in for a one-night “Grove Alley Nite Market” in 2013, said the group’s director. But the event was so well-received that the local development group has kept at it.

“It was only meant to be a one-time event originally, and people were like ‘This is so cool, you have to do it again!’ ” said Vivian Liao, director of programs for the Partnership.

The group has long sought to work with the evening’s headlining act, said Liao, but scheduling had always gotten in the way.

“We’ve actually been working to get Talib Kweli for a while, and it just so happened he was available this time around, so it made sense, since we had him, to do the silent disco,” said Liao.

For the uninitiated, a silent disco is a dance party where the music skips a traditional sound system, instead broadcasting to each listener through wireless headphones. The Grove Alley event will have some old-fashioned speakers in play, said organizers, but the only way to hear Kweli’s set is by renting a pair of $5 headphones. In addition to Kweli, two other DJs will broadcast during the event, so participants can choose between three different soundtracks while they boogie.

“It’s kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure,” said Liao.

And there will be more to do than dance — food trucks like Morris Grilled Cheese and Coolhaus will be stationed in the alley, and the Brooklyn Brewery will serve up suds. An interactive art installation will also take up part of the narrow alley.

Silent Disco in Grove Alley [Grove Place at Hanover Place in Downtown,, (718) 403–1600]. 5–11 pm on July 31. Free (headphone rental $5).

Reach reporter Harry MacCormack at or by calling (718) 260–2511.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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