There’s your typical sudsy foam parties, silent discos, neon paint raves, and standard festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival, Coachella, UMF, Electric Zoo, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and HARDfest … but, zero-gravity clubs?
Now that’s something new.
Created by the German media and event company BigCityBeats — which hosts music and dance events in wild venues like high-speed trains and cruise ships — the Zero Gravity Club is a 90-minute parabolic flight that takes place in an airplane normally used to measure the effects of weightlessness, prepare astronauts for being in orbit in outer space (even getting Stephen Hawking out of his iconic wheelchair for a few minutes).
The first of its kind took off from Frankfurt Airport this past February, becoming the first club event in history to be hosted sans gravity.
DJ Steve Aoki, along with Armin van Buuren and W&W, mixed for a little over 50 floating attendees (over 30,000 applications were received) in a converted Zero-G Airbus A310, traditionally used for training by the European Space Agency (ESA) and scientific teams.
One party-goer described the event as a “total loss of control, but an awesome experience.”
The ESA, Fraport AG and the City of Frankfurt, and BigCityBeats, worked together to create the experience with the goal of blending music and science into one revolutionary event.
Touching down after the weightless party, Aoki said, “And now I feel like an astronaut.” While W&W admitted the DJ-ing was difficult; “We were pretty nervous, but after the first jump it was, like, indescribable — even though any actual DJ-ing was all but impossible in the weightless conditions, because you were always swimming away from the console.”
For non-astronauts, a parabolic flight can run $4,950 (not including tax or tunes by Steve Aoki). “I remember my first Zero-G flight during my astronaut training,” says ESA Astronaut, Pedro Duque. “The feeling of weightlessness is something absolutely unique and a parabolic flight is the only way you can get the feeling of being in space that doesn’t involve getting into a rocket. For us astronauts, these flights are really important to get acquainted with the experience of being in orbit.”
However, the experience may not be as fun as it sounds. In fact, these reduced-gravity aircrafts have long been nicknamed “vomit comets” for their likelihood to produce nausea and airsickness among hovering passengers.
The ESA explains the flight process: “From a steady horizontal flight, the aircraft gradually pulls up and starts climbing to an angle of approximately 50-degrees. This pull-up phase lasts for about 20 seconds, during which the aircraft experiences an acceleration of around 1.8 times the gravity level at the surface of the Earth. The engine thrust is then strongly reduced to the minimum required to compensate for air-drag, and the aircraft then follows a free-fall trajectory forming a parabola lasting approximately 20 seconds, during which weightlessness occurs.”
So ask yourself: Do I like the gut-hovering sensation of turbulence? If you answered no, (like the rest of the sane world) you might want to stick to on-ground parties. However, we’ve always wanted to be astronauts, so we’re torn. (This could be the coolest experience of one's short life .. if the company ever has a second party.)
There’s no verification when the second Zero Gravity Club will take place, but most likely February 2019 leading up to the next World Club Dome (WCD), since this exclusive no-gravity party was actually the “pre-party” to BigCityBeat’s sixth WCD event in June. The huge three-day music and dance festival in Frankfurt will see around 140,000 visitors sprawling custom-built clubs stretching over 7,534,737 square feet in and around the Frankfurt Commerzbank Arena, with its own forests, pool areas, and a dance floor that can accommodate 50,000 people at once.