Student Life

I woke up like this: ‘raving your way into the day’

Morning Gloryville sober early morning raves will make sure you get up on the right side of the bed

There have been plenty of times when I’ve stumbled home from a night out at 6:30 a.m., watching the sunrise through bleary eyes as I hopped on the first metro of the morning. Never, however—or rather, never until last Thursday—have I woken up at 6:30 a.m. to watch the sunrise through bleary eyes as I hop on the first metro of the morning to go out to a rave. A sober, early morning rave.

Over the last 18 months, Morning Gloryville has started an international “raveolution,” beckoning people of all ages to welcome the morning with dancing, yoga, breakfast, and all-around positive vibes. The raves take place every first Wednesday of the month from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., all around the world, from Bangalore to Barcelona, from Melbourne now to Montreal.

“The purpose of the event is to infuse well-being into cities around the world,” said Justin Smith, co-founder and Glory Agent of Morning Gloryville Montreal. “We just want to awaken our community to be present, not to just live, but to awaken to life with every fibre of their being.”

Last week (held one time only on a Thursday) Montreal’s chapter of Morning Gloryville took her maiden voyage.

“Montreal is really open to new things,” said Smith. “It’s a home of self-expression, it’s creative and open-minded, and I think this is really up that alley.”

Peeling away from the first tricklings of early-morning commuters, my friend and I stepped into the lobby of the Loft Hotel, and into another world. The incessant beeping of snowplows was replaced by soothing, upbeat music, and the smell of coffee—free coffee—felt like a hug to my still half-asleep body. Throngs of people in neon, spandex, onesies and dreadlocks flocked inside the space where, in addition to the free coffee, baked goods and snacks were available for purchase. Multi-coloured streamers were suspended from the ceiling like at a child’s birthday party. Two signs near coat check proclaimed “free hugs.”

Further inside, we followed construction paper posters that promised “more fun this way.” In my early-morning state, I felt like I was following the white rabbit down into Wonderland.

DJs Don Mescal and Sidi Khalil pumped energetic beats into the air as ravers of all ages—from toddlers to senior citizens—waved their arms and spun in circles, jumping and dancing and swaying. Essentially, it was a rave like any other, but the definitive vibe was happy and airy, as opposed to the usual dingy, hazy raves of the nighttime crowd.

“We’re trying to take the word [rave] back. Raving is a four-letter word, where people go to do a lot of drugs. They’re dark and nasty,” said Smith. “Conscious clubbing is kind of a trend that we’re starting. We want to create a safe space where people can let go and be ridiculous and engage in self-expression without the mask of alcohol or drugs.”

That space was definitely created. One woman in a tulle skirt hula-hooped on stilts. Face painting was offered in one corner of the dancefloor, yoga in another. Upstairs, massage therapists gave free massages to eagerly waiting queues of people. At the back, a photo booth was set up with props (flower leis, feather boas, bunny ears etc.) and a professional photographer was ready to immortalize everybody’s “I woke up like this” face.

Rise Kombucha, who sponsored the event, manned a bar of free-flowing drinks, served in mason jars (of course) to quench the thirst of all these early-morning movers and shakers. As I swayed along the dancefloor, I realized how few times I’d actually danced so uninhibitedly, completely sober.

Everybody was there because they wanted to be, and somehow by osmosis I started to feel the undiluted joy and harmonious good vibes that I’d scoffed at as hippy nonsense just a few hours earlier.

All in all, definitely worth getting out of bed for.

Morning Gloryville early morning raves take place every first Wednesday of the month (next time March 11), from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. locations to be announced. Early bird tickets cost $16.62 and increase in price closer to the event.
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