We loved Quiet Events at ACL, and wanted to meet the founder of this silent disco company, which is headquartered in New York. Turns out, William ‘Will’ Petz (pictured above) is a computer science graduate who has held high-level technology positions at the likes of J.P. Morgan and Merrill Lynch. A published author, patented inventor, world traveler, salsa dancer and cancer survivor, Will is what many call a modern-day Renaissance man.
Will’s passion for live music is why Austin is his home-away-from-home, and what ultimately lead to him opening his third Quiet Events office in the Live Music Capital of the World.
TLM: Where did the idea to launch Quiet Events come from?
Will Petz: The silent disco concept originated in the UK, with just two music stations, as a way to host live music events/parties while getting around the cops and noise complaints. I enjoyed it so much that I brought it to NYC with a new spin—introducing it into the mainstream weekly dance scene by evolving it to include three music channels featuring Top 40; ‘80s, ‘90s and 2k; and hip-hop music.
TLM: What do you wish you’d known then that you know now?
WP: How popular it was going to be. For the first three years, I worked full time and managed Quiet Events on the side. I should have quit my day job and put the time in to growing my business from the start.
TLM: Do Quiet Events headsets have other uses?
WP: Even after six years, people are still coming up with new ways to use our wireless headphones. As new ones come up, we feature them here. Some of my favorite uses include: fitness and yoga, kids’ parties, comedy, outdoor movies, karaoke and weddings.
TLM: Austin vs. New York?
WP: Both are party towns and bring out amazing people. The biggest difference is that Austin people are early partiers! Since Austin has a 2am curfew more people are ready to party at 10pm (our event start time) versus New York where the majority of people don’t arrive at our events until after midnight.
TLM: Fantasy disco time: What would your 3 DJs be spinning?
WP: I love to sing (when no one can hear me), so the ‘80s, ‘90s, 2k throwback DJ is a must! A DJ playing today’s latest Top 40 mash-ups is ideal for having fun with friends jumping around and screaming. Lastly, I love to dance so a Latin DJ spinning salsa, bachata and merengue so I can show off my dance moves.
TLM: What’s the worst hairstyle you’ve had?
WP: I rocked spiked hair—lots of hair gel and a hair pick to make sure my spikes were coiffed to perfection. Don’t judge. It was cool back in the day… I think.
TLM: What’s the best outfit you’ve ever had?
WP: I’m not much into fashion. I believe the person makes the outfit. I have no problem sporting outfits from Target (said with a French accent). I did get a custom-suit tailored to fit while I was in Thailand, which I must say was outstanding.
TLM: What was your first Instagram post?
WP: I’m an entrepreneur; my baby is my company. The way you see your friends posting their baby pics, you’ll see mine. My first post was people having fun at one of my parties. I was just so proud to see something grow from an awkward party of five to now thousands of people partying with our headsets every night in cities around the world. Having an opportunity to showcase what we do at ACLl this year was definitely a highlight!
How does Quiet Events work? When you rent their headphones at an event, you can tune into three different DJs. Don’t like the music DJ1 is playing? Just flip a switch and see what DJ2 or DJ3 is playing—you’re in control of the music! Colored LED lights let you know what your friends are listening to. It’s not only fun to be a part of, but exciting to watch and listen to everyone as they dance and sing together.