Have you ever heard of album listening parties? It’s where you gather together with friends to listen to a new music release.
In an increasingly connected world, you don’t hear about these types of parties as much anymore. Anyone can open up their favorite streaming app and start listening to the latest album by their favorite artist without ever leaving the comfort of their own home.
But there is something to be said for the shared experience of listening to an album for the first time with your friends.
And when it comes to listening parties, there is no better medium to use than vinyl. So here are some tips on how to host a vinyl listening party you won’t soon forget.
Decide How It’s Going to Work
Set the ground rules beforehand. For example, if there are a specific number of songs you want to listen to at the party (i.e. side A of the record), decide on the playlist in advance. If no one should talk while listening, let everyone know. If you want it to be the first time everyone in attendance has listened to a particular album then give them a head’s up that they shouldn’t listen to that release until the day of the party.
It’s your party, so you can decide on what you want to do. It might seem anti-party to make rules, but having a basic structure can heighten the listening experience.
Check Your Gear
Is your turntable working? How about your speakers? Is the record ready to go? Nothing will put an end to your party sooner than faulty gear. If you can’t get your setup to work, you could always opt to stream the album instead, but that’s not going to be quite as special.
Invite Your Friends
Choose who you want to invite. Some people will enjoy the music and the experience. Others may not. It’s nice to have a diverse perspective, from music buffs and musicians all the way over to casual fans and hobbyists.
Again, this is your party. You don’t have to invite anyone that you don’t want to. Also see the previous section on “Decide How It’s Going to Work.” If you don’t want people criticizing the music, that’s your choice. Let them know.
Have a Conversation
Is any vinyl listening party complete without a discussion following the listening of the album? Well, that’s for you to decide, but oftentimes this is the best part.
You can analyze the music, the gear that was used, as well as the musicians that contributed, the lyrics, the meaning of the songs, and so on. If you don’t want it to escalate into a heated debate, then decide on what topics to talk about in advance. You might say something like, “let’s talk about the technical aspects of the music as opposed to whether or not you liked it.”
At the end of the day, a party is all about having fun. So be creative, and come up with some ideas. Incorporate food and drinks, or perhaps some games. You could even discuss trivia connected to the music or the band. Make it fun, and make it participatory.