Early-Morning Sober Dance Parties Continue to Draw Crowds

By Victoria Kim 03/03/16

Sober clubbing has become a major global movement for adults seeking a healthy, mindful way to have a good time without drugs and alcohol. 

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Early-Morning Sober Dance Parties Continue to Draw Crowds
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The buzz over the “sober clubbing” movement is going strong. Those who saw a gap in the market for purposefully lucid gatherings have established their own venues and events to meet growing demand.

Daybreaker is just one example of a slew of sober dance parties that have emerged over the years. 

“We want to take out all the bad stuff associated with clubbing: the drinking and self-destructive behavior and mean bouncers, and just bring people together,” Matthew Brimer, who created the event with Radha Agrawal, told NBC News. “There’s no guilt whatsoever here. You can tell your grandmother about Daybreaker.”

Daybreaker parties emphasize healthy fun, spirituality and mindfulness. As lame as that may sound to some, these early morning events draw, on average, 400 to 500 attendees and are usually sold out in advance. A recent event included an hour of warm-up yoga, a two-hour dance party with a DJ, and a selection of “mindfully selected” snacks and beverages, cold brew coffee and breakfast energy bars. 

Brimer said energy drink companies have offered to sponsor Daybreaker parties, but “ultimately it would go against what we stand for.”

Depending on the city or venue, local artists—acrobats, painters, spoken-word poets and musicians—will come to entertain. 

Agrawal and Brimer set out to fuse the energy of a club scene with a weekday morning routine. “Morning is a time when you have the most amount of energy potential inside of you,” Brimer told PBS in 2015. “We started Daybreaker with that in mind.” 

Their instincts were right. The demand for morning parties and sober partying in general keeps on growing, not just in the U.S. but worldwide. Sober revelers gushed about the recent event. “I love that everyone’s sober, so no one is spilling drinks on me, pushing people around, or hitting on anyone,” Antonia Predovan, 29, told NBC. “It’s just dancing and having a great time.” She said the morning parties put her in a great mood for the rest of the day. Brimer noted that the “vast majority of the people here are going to work” after the party ended at 9 am. Many leave the party a bit early to hit the showers before work, he said.

Revelers at the morning “raves” find no trouble breaking the ice. “It’s so easy to just compliment someone, chat with them, or vibe with the music together,” said Catherine Manzanares, 27. “I either go with friends or go solo and see people who I’ve met there.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr

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