Tom and Gary’s Decentralized Dance Party takes over New York

Two weeks ago I was thrilled to have the opportunity to take my company to New York to shoot photo and capture video at the dynamic social good conference The Feast 2013, for which we also direct communications and oversee outreach strategy. At the end of the event, I was fortunate to be a part of one of the most surreal and amazing party events I have ever encountered.

This year’s wrap party took place in part at the great Center 548 in Chelsea, and was then taken over by the amazing Tom and Gary’s Decentralized Dance Party. DDP uses a wearable FM transmitter to push music to 50 roving boom boxes, which are handed out to participants along the way. After leaving Center 548, dancing for three hours, connecting with folks marching around with giant jelly fish puppets, and picking up dozens of mobile party participants along the way, we eventually found ourselves at Penn Station—the secret final destination—at midnight.

The event was even covered on the insanely popular Humans of New York Facebook Page, where it received nearly 45,000 likes and was shared 3,500 times. You can see that photo here:

The accompanying text read:

I was photographing in Penn Station late last night when I heard screaming and loud music. A huge crowd of people came around the corner. Everyone was dressed in costumes and bright colors. One dude was dressed as a rabbit. Another had a giant, flashing, neon sword. Everyone was laughing, dancing, and singing, as very loud dance music blared from a portable sound system.

“This is a new type of dance party!” someone shouted into a microphone, “Join us!” The participants fanned out through the station, encouraging onlookers to join them. “Don’t just stand there!” said the man with the microphone, “This works better if everyone is dancing!”
I approached two participants along the edge of the crowd.
“What is this?” I asked.
“We’re not exactly sure,” they answered. “We joined two hours ago, and still haven’t quite figured it out.” After a few more minutes of dancing in Penn Station, the dance party moved on, heading for another location…

You can learn more about Tom and Gary’s Decentralized Dance Party by watching this video.

These are a sampling of the photos we [Knack Factory] captured at that event:

Photo Credit: Zack Bowen of Knack Factory with the exception of the HONY photo, which was taken by Brandon Stanton of Humans on New York

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Alex Steed

About Alex Steed

Alex Steed has written about and engaged in politics since he was an insufferable teenager. He has run for the Statehouse and produced a successful web series. He now runs a content firm called Knack Factory with two guys who are a lot more talented than himself.