Anna Levy heads to Morning Gloryville, the 7am pre-work warehouse rave, to tell us why sober, conscious clubbing is taking London by storm.
Pulsating beats and sweat-drenched smiling faces fill this warehouse in East London, which seems to explode with colour and sound. Euphoric house music reverberates through the room, and neon-clad bodies stomp and whirl like possessed creatures, grinning and hugging each other with pure joy across their glittered faces.
But this isn’t Saturday night, it’s 7am on a Wednesday morning and, believe it or not, many of these revellers will be wiping off the glitter, donning their office wear and heading off to work after the party. Nobody is chemically enhanced or intoxicated by anything other than the music and the wonder of being alive. Oh and possibly a double shot expresso from the coffee van.
Welcome to Morning Gloryville, the mid-week party that offers to help you “rave your way into the day”. Launched in 2013 by Samantha Moyo, these sober morning raves have gained momentum and a huge following, spreading across the globe into 17 cities and attracting big name DJs such as Fatboy Slim and Basement Jaxx.
In London there are now three regular parties, including the original one at Oval Space in Bethnal Green, and a new collaboration with the Ministry of Sound no less. The latter superclub’s involvement in hosting the South London event adds extra weight to
the idea that a ‘conscious clubbing’ revolution is underway. If Ministry, the ultimate symbol of mainstream 90s club culture, is hosting booze/drug-free parties like this, something is afoot.
I started attending Morning Gloryville’s parties over a year ago, and have been an avid morning raver ever since. When I walk into the venue and am hit by the love in the room, the smiles, the hugs and the pure ecstasy – in its original sense – of the party, I know there’s no better way to start the day.
Friends have asked me if it feels forced somehow, imagining it must be awkward to dance to house music on a weekday morning without drink or drugs. I can honestly say though that the Morning Gloryville parties are some of the best parties I’ve ever been to. And I’ve been to a few. Without intoxication, people really connect with each other and with the music, and it’s easy to lose your inhibitions when you’re surrounded by hundreds of friendly, non-judgemental people who are dancing like nobody’s watching.
You don’t even need to dance if you don’t want to. At the East London event, you can do yoga and meditation, get a shoulder massage or listen to live music on the terrace while sipping a fruity concoction from the juice bar. All this while the rest of the city is miserably preparing for their morning commute.
The event finishes at 10.30am with a circle meditation and a group hug, and then it’s off to work with a grin on my face, joy in my heart and the odd bit of stray glitter in my hair to raise some quizzical glances from my colleagues.
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Photo credit: Morning Gloryville South London