Silent City Limits at Pine Street Station

On Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13, the Pine Street Station will host Silent City Limits 2012. The event is a two-night, after-hours silent disco extravaganza brought to you by the same people (Silent Frisco) who put on Silent Southby at SXSW. Silent City Limits 2012 will raise money to help support the continued operations of the Austin Enchanted Forest, which has been supporting the Austin arts community for more than 15 years.

The silent disco will feature two channels of Djs from 10pm-sunrise, including some of Austin’s favorites and some out of town guests. The ACL channel will feature Austin hometown heroes DJ MannyOrionChicken GeorgeBigFaceRam Z and Happy Happy James. The second channel, or the OCL Channel, will include out-of-towners J.BoogieMotion PotionU9lift and Matt Haze from San Francisco.

Both nights, Oct. 12 and 13, the 21-and-up show starts at 10 p.m. and goes until sunrise. Alcohol will be served at TABC sanctioned bars at the festival, then after-hours, juice at the juice bars. Due to capacity restrictions, advance purchase is strongly recommended. Get your tickets here and get them for only $20!

Though this event is at Pine Street Station, all proceeds will go to help Austin Enchanted Forest, one of Austin’s most unique arts community venues. In years past this otherworldly space – which encompasses over three acres of woods near Oltorf and South Lamar - has hosted numerous events including Silent City Limits, but due to restrictions is currently closed to the public. The organizers hope the money raised from Silent City Limits at Pine Street Station will allow the Enchanted Forest to reestablish itself as an event space, and continue to support local artists in the years to come.

Albert Deloach runs the Austin Enchanted Forest. He has spent 15 years there working with artists and hosting small theatrical, music and arts events. The longtime Austinite started hosting wildly popular Halloween parties at the forest in 2006, and it was soon rated as one of the best haunted trails in the state of Texas. Deloach is currently working on renovations make the forest co-compliant with the city.

Robbie Kowal has been doing silent disco events since 2006, when he began serving as one of the resident silent disco DJs at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Kowal, whose stage name is Motion Potion, founded Silent Frisco in 2009. Based in San Francisco, Silent Frisco is a production company that produces its own independent silent disco events all across the country.

Do512 interviewed the two to find out more about the silent disco and benefit for AEF:

Q: Why did you establish Silent Frisco?

Kowal: From the beginning the focus was always on trying to find places where you can’t have concerts. Getting people outside of clubs, under the trees, under the stars, out into fields, onto beaches. We do a lot of clubs and festivals as well, but to us the magic of silent disco is that you can bring music wherever you need it.

When we started doing this we started hearing from people around the country who were having problems. There’s a trend in urbanization that people with money are moving back into cities, and they move into places like former warehouse spaces, building lofts, and they start complaining about the clubs and art spaces that have been inhabiting these places.

We don’t take an opinion either way whether those people are right or wrong, because if I had a baby I’d want it to sleep at night as well. The way we look at it is now that there exists technology to solve this problem, we’re going to step in and help you do it. Our mission is to enable these sort of cultural gatherings to exist without becoming a nuisance. We heard from Austin Enchanted Forest that they had noise issues, so we came down and did a couple of beautiful events during SXSX 2010 and then again at SXSW 2011, and of course Silent City Limits 2011 which was huge.

Q: How does a silent disco work?

Kowal: Silent Disco lends itself to music that is more eclectic, creative and based on story telling. Whereas a lot of club music is based on physical sounds that lean on the subwoofers, our musical aesthetic leans on sounds that are better to be listened to. So the DJs we’re booking are always very eclectic and we have two channels that you can switch back and forth from. You’ll get a set of wireless headphones and we usually we have a downtempo channel and an uptempo channel, so people come to our events and it’s amazing because you see 90% of the people dancing and listening the whole time.

Q: What is new for 2012?

Kowal: The twist this year is that because Albert is working on renovations to improve the enchanted forest, we started looking for a new space. We got in touch with Reji Thomas who runs Pine Street Station and Andy from the Hope Project and they were so incredibly enthusiastic about not only doing the event, but doing it to raise money for Albert and the Austin Enchanted Forest. This is one unique art space and arts community stepping up in a huge way to help another unique arts space and community. In my 16 years of experience I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s a beautiful thing to see.

Q: What does this mean for the enchanted forest?

Albert Deloach: We’ve always supported as many different artists as we can and done whatever we could in trying to keep and open promote all of the different types of art events and art spaces. As things have progressed, the city is growing around us and pretty much gobbling up everything in its sight. It’s really refreshing to see so many people coming forward to lend their help, time and energy to make sure that we are able to work toward getting everything that we need to be a safe public event space.

That’s been the struggle that the forest has been going through for the last several years and I think we’re right at the verge of getting everything accomplished. This allows the entire arts community to be able to come together to help keep these types of events rolling and happening in Austin so it’s just not something that falls to the wayside and disappears. It’s been really, really nice having this greater circle of people who have been stepping up to get behind us and work with us. We are almost in tears at times just to see the people coming to help us make this work.

For more information on Silent City Limits at Pine Street Station, please visit do512.com and silentfrisco.com. You can follow the Austin Enchanted Forest on Facebook and Twitter @EnchantedATX.

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