One of the top names in trance music, Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren - here at a 2016 event in Miami - is one of the top name disc jockeys invited to the February 7 zero gravity party aboard a modified Airbus A310
New York (AFP) - Bringing a new meaning to dancing on air, a nightclub operator is throwing a party in zero gravity, with top DJs playing in an aircraft used to train astronauts.
The nightclub, billed as the first of its kind in conditions resembling space, will take off February 7 in Frankfurt with 20 clubbers representing all continents dancing, or at least floating, to the beats.
The party, however, will be brief. The modified Airbus A310, which helps European astronauts adapt to weightlessness, will return to Frankfurt airport after 90 minutes, with only 25 minutes spent in zero gravity.
The head of BigCityBeats, a Frankfurt company known for setting up nightclubs in unlikely places, said he pursued the idea because, well, it hadn't been done.
"Since we are doing a lot of things which are unique, everybody was asking me -- when do you fly to the moon?" said Bernd Breiter, CEO of BigCityBeats.
"That will take awhile, if it's possible. But we are coming a little bit closer," he said.
The artists on the mission, dubbed World Club Dome Zero Gravity, will include Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren, one of the top names in trance music, and Los Angeles-based Steve Aoki, a major producer and DJ of electronic dance music.
A total of 55 people will be on the flight including crew and two veterans of zero-gravity environments -- European Space Agency astronauts Jean-Francois Clervoy of France and Pedro Duque of Spain.
Van Buuren said that space travel has been "something I want to experience at least once" -- although he acknowledged that he had jitters even with conventional flying.
The DJ, accustomed to seeing fancy footwork on the ground, said he would eagerly watch the dance possibilities in zero gravity.
"I think it will look really funny," he told AFP. "You can make really unique dance moves, like twists in the air, that you wouldn't normally be able to do on a dance floor."
- 'An interesting science project' -
Unlike actual space, which is silent, the plane will have oxygen -- and therefore sound. The DJs have access to a designated area if they want to remain stationary.
Nonetheless, Van Buuren said he was curious how weightlessness would affect his gear and music. Known for his marathon vinyl sets, he will be safe and go digital for zero gravity.
"It's an interesting science project, let's put it that way," Van Buuren said.
BigCityBeats selected the 20 clubbers from contestants who submitted videos on social media. Hoping to be as representative as possible, winners were selected from each continent.
The trip will be free, including travel expenses to Frankfurt.
BigCityBeats is relying on support from partners including the operator of Frankfurt airport and is promoting its signature event, World Club Dome, a mega-party in June in Frankfurt which the company calls the "biggest club in the world."
Breiter said that the zero gravity trip also had a more serious message, with people of all backgrounds coming together.
"We have this vision, that maybe we can unite the whole world in the smallest club in the world," he said.