National Disco Day is celebrated in New Zealand every year on July 2. The day is a salute to all things disco, from the music and dancing to the entire culture of the 1970s. National Disco Day is an unofficial observance that focuses on the genre of dance music that wielded significant influence on modern music, developing into an entire subculture over the 1960s and 1970s in America. While the popularity of disco declined in America around the 1980s, it only gained popularity in the rest of the world, including New Zealand.
History of National Disco Day
National Disco Day is held in New Zealand every year on July 2. This annual observance is an unofficial day where everyone gets together to celebrate the fun music, dance, and culture that evolved from disco. Disco developed from several influences. Philadelphia soul, funk, psychedelic soul, and pop all inspired dance music in American nightlife. Disco started as a reaction to the popularity of rock music in the 1960s and emerged as a subcultural response to how current dance music was ignored and dismissed by music fans.
The music was a mixture of the melodies and rhythms played at venues popular with Italian, Hispanic, Latino, and African Americans. Artists in America. Europe expanded the genre further, and well-known bands of the time include Boney M, ABBA, the Bee Gees, Thelma Houston, Chaka Khan, and Donna Summer, to name a few.
Discos, derived from venues known as discotheques, began in Europe and were popularized by the American press to become centers of disco culture. Disco music is characterized by synthesized sounds and reverberating, bass-heavy style. It created a beat-driven ambiance that attracted people to the illuminated dance floors where they could groove through the night. It also gave rise to a fashion style distinguished by bold, clashing colors, dramatic designs, and fabrics that shimmered on the dancefloor. Clubs started playing phonograph records rather than live music. Disco brought a sense of collective euphoria, emanating through the music, the dancing, and the culture surrounding it, and the essence of why the genre is so important even today. The sense of unified joy is worth celebrating, which is why New Zealanders join in the fun by enjoying the music and the dancing of disco culture every year on the unofficial National Disco Day.
National Disco Day timeline
The first discotheques emerge, playing swing music and serving as the hot spot for dance and dance music.
As a reaction to the dismissal of dance music, disco develops, taking inspiration from the dance music popular among Italian, Latino, and African Americans.
With artists like ABBA and Boney M, disco is the mainstream music popular across the world.
Nu-disco emerges and the stage is set for disco and disco-influenced music to come back into the mainstream.
National Disco Day FAQs
How did disco get its name?
Disco is short for discotheques, and the music got its name from the dance clubs called discotheques.
What is the first disco song?
The first disco song was ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ by Gloria Gaynor.
What year did disco peak?
Disco peaked in the years 1977 to 1978.
National Disco Day Activities
Head to a discotheque
There’s no better way to celebrate National Disco Day than to head over to an old-style discotheque and get moving with some fancy footwork. Don’t forget to get colorful and creative with your disco outfit.
Host a party
If you can't go out, bring the party to you. Host a funky disco-themed party with everyone in 1970’s inspired costumes. Add to the mood with multi-colored lights that swirl or flash and a mirror ball. You can even act as DJ.
Make the ultimate playlist
Make a playlist with old-school and new disco. Share this with your friends and family and enjoy.
5 Facts About Disco That Will Surprise You
Saturday Night Fever made disco mainstream
While disco was popular in dancehalls, the movie “Saturday Night Fever” skyrocketed disco’s popularity.
The first D.J.s played disco
D.J.s were first employed by discotheques, and disco music was among the first genres that they played.
Disco music is uptempo
Disco’s popularity was based on its simple melodies paired with a strong baseline and upbeat tempo that got people to dance.
Rock fans campaigned against disco
Rock fans in the 1980s saw disco as mindless and ‘Death to Disco’ was a popular slogan used to dismiss disco.
There was a Disco Demolition Night
At a Major League Basketball event, hundreds of disco records were set on fire by people who wanted to bring an end to the genre.
Why We Love National Disco Day
We love the music
We love the beat and excitement of disco music and how fun it is. We want to listen to it and share it with everyone we know.
We want to dance
We think that disco is some of the best music to dance to. We want to get together with our friends and freak out to our favorite disco playlist.
We want to dress up
We love the colors, glamor, and glitter of disco clothes, shoes, and hairstyles. We want to get dressed in our 1970s-inspired clothes and go dancing.
National Disco Day dates