Raving into the day

Partying hard at 6am isn’t a big deal in trendy east London, but as Nicola Slawson finds, it’s an altogether different experience when you’re fresh out of bed and raving on your way to work

It’s 6am and not only am I awake and on a bus, I’m also feeling nervous. But I’m not on my way to an important interview or to catch a flight to the unknown. I’m on my way to a rave. And not the kind of rave that’s still going from the night before. This is a completely sober and bright light of day rave.

Morning Gloryville was created in early 2013 by events producer Samantha Moyo and a friend. Their idea is now a global movement with morning raves taking place in cities around the world including San Francisco, Tokyo and Zurich. Moyo describes it as an “immersive morning dance experience for those who dare to challenge morning culture and start their day in style”.

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As I arrive I’m greeted by a group of friendly, cheerful Morning Gloryville staff outside the airy Oval Space in east London. After dumping my office things in the cloakroom, I make my way up the stairs past a young woman with flowers in her hair, an older gentleman in a garish Hawaiian shirt and a group of girls in tutus and other assorted rave gear. There’s a yoga class going on to my left and someone giving out deodorant on a balcony. A sign on the door reminds everyone to stay hydrated. As I push open the door to a room blasting pumping bass, I’m feeling quite apprehensive, but the speed in which that feeling disappears is incredible.

“To be able to dance and lose all your inhibitions while completely sober in the early morning is an incredibly liberating experience”

Within seconds of nervously entering the room I’m pushing my way to the front of the crowd and jumping up and down to a remix of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know. I don’t stop for another three hours, except for a quick orange juice break – the strongest thing I drink – and, of course, to get my face painted. I even end up on the stage a couple of times.

To be able to dance and lose all your inhibitions while completely sober in the early morning is an incredibly liberating experience. I spend most of the event smiling and laughing. Smiling at MC Angel spreading messages of love and bringing back flower power (not the usual topics you’d expect from a rapper), laughing as a friend blasts the crowd with a water gun and giggling at the absurdity of just how much my colleagues and I were going for it while the natural light barged in, knowing that soon we’ll be heading to the office for a normal day.

But the day was never going to be normal when I started it with a rave, and my colleagues and I get some funny looks as we make my way to Old Street tube station with flowers painted on our cheeks. We feel unusually happy and cause a bit of a scene as we pour into the office with huge smiles on our faces, and even as we change into work clothes and get on with the day, those feelings don’t disappear.