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What is a Decentralized Dance Party?

Tom and Gary say their parties are strictly business.
Photo courtesy
Tom and Gary say their parties are strictly business.

Austin’s never wanting for parties, and certainly not last weekend: A touring soirée known as the Decentralized Dance Party invaded downtown Saturday, Jan. 7, leaving a trail of a boombox-touting party people in its wake.

The brainchild of Canadians “Tom and Gary” (no last names given), the DDP is essentially a flash mob on steroids, embodying the nimble, adaptable nature of those gatherings, with a nod to the public space reclamation in movements like the Occupy protests. Or more simply, Tom and Gary use radio frequencies to transmit music from an MP3 player to party goers’  boomboxes. (The music encompasses “Booty Bass, Eurodance, Party Metal, Jock Jams and Choice Hard Rock,” according to the Music section of their “Party Manifesto.”) Wherever the crowd goes, the tunes do to.

Tom and Gary explain the DDP below in a video from their website.

Nearly 2,200 Austinites RSVP’d to the DDP on the event’s Facebook page. Your News Now counted a crowd around half that size, still an impressive number. And while an accurate count is impossible to take in the video below, shot by a partier at the steps of the Texas Capitol, the revelers easily number in the high hundreds.

The DDP’s next stop on their “Strictly Business” tour is Houston, on Jan. 14 – provided the rain dries up by then.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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