Tag Archives: DJ

‘Quiet Clubbing’ comes to Astoria beer garden

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Quiet Events

The music booms silently at one Astoria beer garden.

Every other Friday, guests are greeted at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, located at 29-19 24th Ave., with wireless headphones and a quiet dance floor. Once they put on their headphones, the party begins.

This biweekly party is called “Quiet Clubbing” and is organized by the company Quiet Events, founded in 2012 by College Point resident William Petz after he experienced what is known as a “silent disco” on a cruise with family.

“We enjoyed it so much and thought someone had to be doing it in New York, but no one was,” Petz said. “I figured let me buy 300 headphones and worst comes to worst I sell them on eBay.”

During the event, there are three live DJs each playing a different genre of music such as hip-hop, old-school hits and top 40s. Guests put on their headphones and can switch to any of the three stations with LED lights on the headphones changing from blue, red and green, letting others know which DJ they’ve picked.

“We took a beer garden and almost turned it to a festival,” Petz said. He estimates that between 500 to 600 people attend each night, with the numbers only growing.

Petz said that although some people might assume these types of parties are “anti-social,” he believes the environment actually allows guests to get together and adjust the volume on their headphones to be able to strike up conversations.

“It kind of is weird but it is not silent, it is not quiet. People are singing to songs, laughing and having conversations with friends,” Petz said. “You can have friends who love different types of music, dancing together. We get people to do things they normally don’t want to do.”

Along with the biweekly “quiet clubbing” parties at the Beer Garden, Quiet Events, which will soon move its headquarters to Astoria, also organizes other events such as mobile parties.

During these mobile parties about 100 to 150 people are taken around New York City, all with headphones on, and walk with a certified tour guide. Petz said it is sort of like beer crawl, but guests get to learn more about the city as well.

Quiet Events also rents its equipment to other bars and clubs, and in some cases sells the equipment.

The next Quiet Clubbing party at the Beer Garden is Friday, Aug. 1, and starts at 10 p.m. Tickets are $5 online and $10 at the door.

“The best part for me is when you talk to someone and they say they don’t get it and afterwards they love it,” Petz said “You won’t get it until you put those headphones on. It’s golden.”

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Hey mister DJ: Queens’ Elijah Strauss keeps people dancing

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Eli DJ 3

Elijah Strauss hovered over piles of equipment stacked behind the DJ booth in the lightless back room of the UC Lounge, a nondescript bar on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Pressing his headphones to one ear, Strauss twisted a shiny, silver knob, bringing Rihanna’s voice slowly into focus. The crowd is minimal — a group of about six close friends take up most of the club’s floor space, bouncing and shimmying. Strauss seems unaffected by his small audience. They came to dance. He came to make it happen.

Born and raised in Forest Hills, Strauss takes his love of music to the next level — DJing at clubs and bars around New York City.

Strauss exhibited an interest in DJing while in high school, but the hobby’s expensive start-up costs and his neighborhood’s lack of outlets for local spinners hindered his dream from taking off.

“Growing up, I’ve always been interested in music,” said Strauss. “In high school, I thought the idea of DJing was cool but I never had the venue or the resources.”

During Strauss’s freshmen year in college, he joined a student organization that helped provide relief for those affected by the 2007 earthquakes in Peru. While with a friend, brainstorming methods to further their efforts and accrue more funds for the victims, they stumbled upon the perfect plan – throw a raging party to raise money for Peru. The only thing missing was a DJ.

Strauss volunteered.

He bought an inexpensive mixer and gathered his favorite tunes – Top 40, Hip Hop and Reggae hits.

Strauss was nervous, calling on friends for their song suggestions and advice, mapping out every second of the evening. To his surprise, he spun for a completely packed venue. Campus security attempted to corral the crowd when the evening was expected to end, around 1:30 a.m., but the partygoers kept dancing. Strauss played Mims’s “This is Why I’m Hot” when suddenly the fire alarm began blaring.

“Apparently someone pulled the alarm because they didn’t want to leave,” laughed Strauss.

Straus claimed that following his notable premier in October of 2007, his DJ skills were at high demand from student groups and party planners across campus.

“I was not impressed with the parties there and thought I could do a better job,” said Strauss. “My DJing took off after the first party I did.”

His stage name, “DJ Fine-Nice,” derives from “finesse,” the moniker he originally sought to go by. “Finesse” proved popular among other mix masters, and the adjectives “fine” and “nice” seemed to complement the beats Strauss was working with.

During the week, Strauss works as a life coach, assisting a private client with his daily tasks and organization. It’s a new gig for the 23-year-old recent college graduate, who majored in psychology at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

He dedicates most of his time after work to improving his craft – researching and downloading new songs, editing his iTunes library and hooking up potential gigs. He says his time belongs to the music.

Strauss admits there are a few secrets to being a good DJ — being prepared, knowing your music and knowing your audience.

When he spins clubs, Strauss leans on electronic artists like Avicci, David Guetta, Afrojack and Major Lazer to keep people moving. He observes the crowd’s reactions to various songs, reflecting the feelings and themes he picks up throughout the evening as a gauge for what to play next.

And he keeps on spinning.

Interested in booking DJ Fine-Nice for a gig? Contact djfinenice@gmail.com. To listen to mixes by DJ Fine-Nice, visit http://soundcloud.com/djfinenice.