It’s not difficult to fill your calendar with events. But to have an experience is another thing entirely. By definition, an event is simply something that happens. Contrast that with something intentional that you encounter, undergo or participate in – that’s an experience and something far more rare, engaging and memorable.
That was the mark the Quiet Hounds aimed for when forming their band several years ago – and one they have skillfully refined ever since.
“It was important in the beginning to reawaken ourselves as musicians and reimagine what we could do as artists,” says QH #4. “We were all previously in other bands and had played by the industry’s rules, and we were sick of the parameters around how a band’s live show and path to success was supposed to look. We wanted to go in another direction and connect with our audience in a more significant way. Instead of defining ourselves by being in a band, we wanted to redefine what a band could be.”
Anyone who has ever been to a Quiet Hounds’ performance immediately understands that sentiment.
“We said, ‘Let’s play in masks and not let our names be known at first; we’ll probably never play in a typical club; and let’s give our first round of songs out for free and let it get passed around by word of mouth. Let’s tell stories and create an exhibition. Let’s treat people like we would want to be treated and make every aspect of the evening a priority,’ ” says QH #3.
What the Quiet Hounds have achieved through their live shows is remarkable – and admittedly hard to describe – but it’s also something each of us can apply in our own lives. Whether it’s hosting a dinner, planning a date or throwing a party – cultivating an experience is something we all do from time to time. The Quiet Hounds offered some perspective on the elements they think through in order to create a unique experience:
“All of the senses are important if you want to truly immerse someone in an experience,” says QH #2. “Capturing people’s attention is the first step. Not only do we want to compel people’s attention for an evening, we also want to deliver something of substance that may resonate long past the night.”
“It’s a combination of things, but the details matter and they add up,” says QH #1. “When you are creating something that you want to be enjoyed – an attraction of sorts – you need to make people feel special and take them on a journey. Think about Cirque du Soleil or Sleep No More. What’s something you can offer that your guests can’t experience anywhere else – or at least beyond the norm?”
In your own way, consider these elements in your planning:
- Place and setting – How can you incorporate your environment?
- Story – You are sending a form of a message; what are you telling your guests?
- Lighting – This is one of the simplest ways to set the tone.
- Design – How can you make the look complement your objective?
- Sound – The music and the volume have an instant impact on your guests’ emotions.
- Food and drink – Quality is the key. And never run out of drinks.
- Timing – Not too early, not too late, not too short, not too long.
- Smell – It’s critical, but less is always more in this area.
- Connection – How can people feel involved in some way?
- Intrigue – Creating a little mystery is powerful – don’t give away too much.
- Comfortable – Make people feel welcome and relaxed.
- Temperature – If it’s too hot or too cold, none of the other planning matters.
- Uncommon – Simple is fine; ordinary is not.
“We think realizing that human beings want authenticity is key,” says QH #3. “It’s easy to appreciate someone’s viewpoint if it is thought-out and well-presented. Fight to have what you do matter. Immerse yourself in the details and most importantly – if you can understand why something is wrong, think about how you would do it right. And then do it. Having an impact on community, culture and people – however big or small – is something to thrive on and aim to continue developing.”
The Quiet Hounds’ next experience will take place Saturday, Nov 22, at 8 p.m. at The Goat Farm – a return to the location where they held their first show. This time they will be telling the story of the Last Days of Snake Nation – which was an area of Atlanta once ruled by the Free & Rowdy Party and The Morals in the 1840s and ’50s (think white gangs in top hats). So far every show they’ve had has been sold out, so buy tickets in advance here: QuietHounds.com