‘We rocked on until we were told not to‘: Silent Disco walking tour opened on day lockdown began

Silent Adventures wants more people dancing in the streets of Cardiff

“OUR first tour worked really well,” remembers Silent Disco walking tour organiser Gordon Tole-Moir.

“We thought ‘We’ve really got something here’. We had about 26 people for our first tour.

“That was between three o’clock and four o’clock. But between 2pm and 3pm we had cancellation after cancellation.”

A few hours later, the then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the first UK lockdown due to Covid-19, but the warnings had been circulating throughout the day.

For Silent adventures – a company which hosts group walking tours around Cardiff while customers listen to music on headphones – not being able to go outside or gather in groups was a significant problem on their first day of business.

“The people that showed up to the tour were determined to have a good time until we were told that we couldn’t,” said Mr Tole-Moir.

“We rocked on until we were told not to.”

After such a difficult start, Silent Adventures was only able to start up again Cardiff last summer – albeit with more caution.

Come with The Cardiffian on a silent disco walking tour of Cardiff. Credit: Caleb Tutt.

“We decided that we would restart tours once restrictions were lifted. We wanted to keep the two-metre distance, but we would have a code word – “pineapple” – to check people for social distancing,” said Mr Tole-Moir.

“The people that turned up to tours were appreciative that we were still trying to run things.”

Now that restrictions are a distant memory, Silent Adventures is keen to expand its franchise in Cardiff, doing more tours more frequently.

Silent Adventures takes people through familiar Cardiff sights like Womanby Street and Castle Arcade. Credit: Caleb Tutt.

Tours are around an hour long, held every other Saturday and attract everyone from hen-do’s to young children and parents.

“We’re doing a night tour in a weeks’ time where we’ll get the glow sticks out and see what Friday night can throw at us,” said Mr Tole-Moir.

Organiser Gordon Tole-Moir leading a tour on St Mary’s Street. Credit: Caleb Tutt.

What is a Silent Disco?

A Silent Disco usually takes place in a pub or club. People wear headphones which play music chosen by DJs – but the music is not played aloud in the room. If you remove your headphones, you hear only silence.

Silent Adventures says it offers a different experience to traditional silent discos that can feel “boxed-in”. Their tours through busy Cardiff streets attract attention.

“We get random passers-by thinking you are the best thing in the world, and they want to join in. That’s amazing,” said Mr Tole-Moir.

“We always get comments on Facebook saying, ‘Oh I’ve seen these people in Cardiff’, or ‘These are the people that went past those shops the other day’.

“The people in Cardiff are accepting of who you are. If you want to go out and throw your arms in the air, nine times out of 10 people will join you.”

Silent Adventures begin their tours at The Mad Dog Brewery on Castle Street. You can find out more about their tours on their website