Social Experiment: Creating Community with Strangers at Music Shows 🎵

In collaboration with One Time Only Music Shows and Experiences in Dallas, TX

xinyi @ don't be strangers
3 min readNov 23, 2022

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We’ve all been in this situation…

You show up to an event (either alone or with friends) and you’re totally down to make some new friends but…. where do you even start? Who will vibe with you? Who’s even down to talk?

If you’re anything like me, you love meeting new people but… having to get through that initial layer of small talk to get to the meat of a really interesting and life-giving conversation is just plain life-draining. And not everyone’s down to connect on a deeper, more vulnerable level. Which is totally cool! But man wouldn’t it be great if we could just dive to the good stuff and know exactly who’s down to do the same?

For a while, Don’t Be Strangers (a community fighting against adult loneliness + changing the narrative that “making friends is hard”) has been hosting Conversation Game Nights where strangers can come together knowing that all the other participants are down to chat and answer real questions that really make you think.

As we’ve been growing and expanding on this premise and bringing it out from the online world (where you could meet strangers from across the globe) to Dallas, Texas, we’re hopeful that we can create a template that can be replicated in cities across the world.

If you’re interested in setting up a Conversation Game Night in your city, just reach out to donotbestrangers@gmail.com

Thanks our combined efforts with Staycation Coffee to build community in Dallas, a team member of One Time Only Experiences (a music show organizer) discovered us and reached out for a potential collaboration. Seeing as the values of our community includes courage, curiosity, and #BIGKIDENERGY, I thought why not? This could be an interesting social experiment.

How would this work with a music event? So this is what I’m thinking:

  1. Set up a poster saying — Social Experiment: Meet Strangers, Become Friends. No Small Talk, Just Deep Stuff.
  2. Give people name tags if they want to participate. Why? Because walking into a group of strangers, you’ll know exactly who’s down to connect. And if you’re connecting, you probably want to know their names anyways.
  3. Give people access to a list of interesting, deep questions.

So if you show up early (intentionally or accidentally), you can scope out the room and see exactly who’s down to talk. The list of questions would technically be optional but a great excuse to skip the small talk (if you’re down for that).

Will this work?

I have no idea, hence why it’s a social experiment. 😂

Curious to participate?

OTO is hosting their next music show (rock) on Friday December 2nd at Double Wide Bar (21+) near downtown Dallas in Deep Ellum. Tickets are $15 with the bonus of participating in this social experiment + meeting some new friends!

Want to also collaborate with Don’t Be Strangers? Here’s how.

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xinyi @ don't be strangers

musings of a creative chimera + nowhere girl🌙🐉 ✨ illustrator, videographer, whatev-er. 📍 somewhere between knowing & searching (host of @dontbestrangers pod)