They've been popping up at festivals for years, but earlier this year, as a complete cynic, I attended my first silent disco. The idea of hundreds of people in an eerily quiet club - usually a centre of frantic noise - dancing to headphones may sound a little odd, but I'm pleased to say that I've seen the light, or rather heard the noise and am now converted. After the initial strange feeling wore off, it appeared that myself and my fellow silent disco virgins were almost hellbent on dancing as frantically as possible, even more so than usual! Even with a group of friends you soon slip away into your own personal sonic world and therefore feel far less intimidated or self conscious about shaking your thing, or maybe it's just that you know you look daft anyway, so why not?

Wait, I hear you cry, I go to clubs to socialise with my friends, but I won't be able to hear them anymore! Well fear not, creating your own sign language could be complete fun and the extremity of your moves soon becomes testament to how much you love the tunes, replacing the cries of, "This is my favourite song!" What's more, should you feel the need to leave the disco world for a second to convey vital information to your fellow party goers, as soon as you take off the headphones you find that you're in the one club where you don't need to shout to be heard - very handy! Spontaneous sing-a-longs are still possible and probably very amusing for anyone out of the headphone zone at the time.

My initial objection to the idea of silent clubbing was that we simply don't need a silent disco, but of course this is the same as saying we don't need theme pubs or brightly coloured cocktails; of course we don't, but they make life fun. Your next concern may be that this is another sign of technological gimmicks taking over our lives, what was so wrong with normal clubs? It's true that in an age where tunes are being unnecessarily released on memory sticks and flash cards, it seems that the musical industry are shamelessly trying to replace perfectly good ways to enjoy music with hi-tech and pointless ones. This mistrust of pointless techno gadgets may extend to the silent disco concept, but it's unlikely that all clubs will go silent, so why not embrace diversity? This was one of the most entertaining club nights that I've ever attended and the intimacy of having control of your own music, possibly even choosing between different genres being broadcast, will soon get you in the zone in a way that takes more time and alcohol in a traditional club. So while you plan which festivals to check out next summer, make sure you leave time to check out the silent discos, which usually run long into the night, avoiding late night sound restrictions!