Daybreaker wakes up the River Thames

Originally published in Spear's magazine 9th September 2016 

Covered in biodegradable glitter, Christabel Milbanke kickstarts her day with a euphoric non-alcoholic 'rave-elution'.

You can always take the traditional morning route through those precious pre-work hours. Make breakfast, get dressed, check emails... Maybe have an early endorphin-boosting gym session, if you are an enviably productive individual. But if that’s feeling a bit tired you could do something dramatically different... How about dancing ‘till you drop at a non-alcoholic morning rave? Inconceivable as it may seem that is exactly what Spear’s sent this young writer to do last Wednesday.

Daybreaker is a global non-alcoholic party movement that doesn’t just challenge social norms but also challenges your expectation of how amazing you will feel breaking them. Unlike other morning parties, Daybreaker is attended by entrepreneurs and business minded people. ‘Mainly we get companies who decide to come and bring their employees to use it as a bonding experience,’ says Fran Newman-Young who co-produces Daybreaker with Adam Johnstone, ‘some companies even bring their clients, and then go for breakfast afterwards. Rather than waking up at 4 in the morning and spending time at the gym, this is a great way of exercising, meeting people, and having a bit of a dance.’

Rising at 4am to liberate my skin with as much biodegradable glitter as is sensible, before setting off before sunrise to attend a dance party, is certainly not my standard routine. But this is all part of the Daybreaker experience, and while jogging to the underground station, dressed like the only light in the dark, my perspectives on the working week began to change.

All aboard the Dixie Queen... 

All aboard the Dixie Queen... 

This month’s rave-elution took place on a boat on the River Thames called The Dixie Queen, a suitably grand setting for my initiation into the world of morning partying. Commencing with a 6am yoga session to get everyone loose and limber, the main party started at 7 and what a party it was!

British DJ James Levey was at the decks aided by MC Ugo at the mic doing a hilarious job of getting people out of their shell with his Tom Jones-esque grunts!

British DJ James Levey

British DJ James Levey

Drinks were provided by Seedlip, a new non-alcoholic, sugar-free and calorie-free distilled spirit that is currently the number 1 spirit sold at Fortnum & Mason, believe it or not. These magical concoctions were mixed with Fever Tree tonic water and additional fruit and cucumber swirls. I was pleasantly surprised upon tasting, as a rare dance of herbal smells and spices overwhelmed my senses encouraging me to drink on with enthusiasm. As someone who struggles to drink water and tries to drink little alcohol, I was sold.

Seedlip's non-alcoholic cocktails

Seedlip's non-alcoholic cocktails

Despite my initial stiffness, I loosened up and found the event truly enjoyable. Before long I was wildly dancing with euphoria to the beat of the music, tempered only by giddy visits to the bar forgetting that I couldn’t possibly be tipsy! Looking around at the colourful crowd of flamboyantly-attired attendees, I realised I was not the only one feeling that way. The mood was infectious, the music was good, and everyone was dancing, smiling and laughing with vibrant childlike joy.

Surprise entertainment came in the form of a live band, carnival dancers, and even a wandering brass band with one dressed as a squid. The crew make sure to look after you with Goodbeans cold brew coffee, breakfast snacks and goody-bags to take away.

From experience I can say that Daybreaker is the perfect remedy for the over-stressed spiritually-dead corporate worker, that unfortunately we see all too much of these days. It reminded me that alcohol isn’t necessary to have a good time, and when the party finished at 9am I felt good about myself knowing I wouldn’t have to suffer a guilty hangover.

The next event is a Hallowe’en-themed party planned for the 26th of October in an as yet undisclosed location in East London. People are not forced to dress up as it is understood many will go to work.

daybreaker.com 

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