Fueled by yoga lessons, massages and healthy drinks, the party “Morning Gloryville” is the latest rage in a string of initiatives challenging urban status quo. The mission: to change our patterns one rave at a time. 15 cities in Europe, North America, and Asia have already followed the early-morning call, so we decided to put our feet to the test at the London event.

Explicitly designed to reclaim the early morning hours, the newest trend in town starts at the crack of dawn: 6:30 am. A wake-up call for citizens across the globe, this party follows a different code: Guests arrive well-rested before dawn – and leave fully energized once it gets light outside. The result is “an immersive morning dance experience,” courtesy of the Morning Gloryville Agents.

smart magazine Morning Gloryville
The newest trend in town starts at the crack of dawn: 6:30 am.

On a mission to advance both morning and clubbing culture, the project “turns clubbing upside down” and resets rave time, according to its co-founders Samantha Moyo (events producer) and Nico Thoemmes (bodywork therapist).

By now, these ‘raves into the day’ are attracting eager crowds in 15 cities and counting, including Amsterdam, Bangalore, Barcelona, Berlin, Brighton, Dublin, Leeds, Liverpool, Melbourne, Montreal, NYC, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Zurich.

The crack-of-dawn adventure has become a global phenomenon with a vision to match: The movement wants to “bring conscious clubbing and conscious socializing to the world stage”, say Samantha and Nico.

A pro-work rave with flamboyant costumes

On location, the East London industrial site still feels empty, cold, dark, and sleepy, yet outside a crowd is already lining up and waiting patiently for the doors to open. Still tired and bleary-eyed, it is hard to imagine these people in the mood for a vigorous dance, party, or rave. But once the ‘ville’ opens its doors, everything is about to change.

Regulars describe the scene as a place for holistic health and it certainly looks the part. Here, generations embrace, parents bring children, unicorns gather, yogis assemble, masseurs work their magic, baristas brew, and juicers blend.

After all, different rules apply when a party does not end the day, but serves as a pre-party for a new one. And the crowd is ready to make the most of it all to dance, to connect, to get energized – and inject some joie de vivre into the start of their day. This simple shift from night to day also attracts a different and more diverse crowd: This is a rave everyone can join.

Upon entry, the organizers and their glitter troops bombard the sleepy part(y)-takers with so much optimism that it seems impossible not to respond with equally good vibes. Inside, the catchy club beats, dedicated dancers, and funky dress code help to dispel any remaining awkwardness.

Fully immersed the moment you walk in, there is no warm-up to ‘get into it,’ – and certainly no need for it. Before the sun even shows its rays, the room lights up with beatific smiles.

smart magazine Morning Gloryville
smart magazine Morning Gloryville
smart magazine Morning Gloryville
smart magazine Morning Gloryville

Endorphin-charged gym session

Occasionally compared to an early morning gym session, it takes some motivation and stamina to keep going – the rave is a hard but fun workout indeed. Heated bodies sweat freely and radiate endorphins.

“Dancing is the best, you lose track of time,” says Zoe, a freelancer in trendy gym clothes, before she slips back into the dancing masses. And thus follows the founders’ recommendation: “Dancing is the ultimate exercise to wake body, mind and creativity.”

The event peaks around 7:30-8:00 am, and there is something magical about knowing that after this intense shared experience, the joyous masses will pour out to start their regular Wednesday. “I am off to work now,” says Tommy, an investment banker, who brought his suit in his backpack.

Challenging the party/work dichotomy

Apart from the positive health effects of a sober morning dance workout, the initiative also has a strong social impact. This party is not only pre-work, it is also pro-work. It challenges the age-old party/work dichotomy and replaces it with a new party&work union.

And it also proves that it does not take intoxication to experience release or unity: At Gloryville, four hours sees more hugging, ecstatic dancing, and communal energy than most raves in twice that time.

Ready to start the day with a healthy glow, the ravers leave with a ‘goodie bag’ sponsored by a collaborating oat milk manufacturer while the Gloryville glitterati wish their acolytes a great day ahead.

smart magazine Morning Gloryville
smart magazine Morning Gloryville
smart magazine Morning Gloryville
smart magazine Morning Gloryville

“Next time, I’ll go as a unicorn”

“Next time, I’ll go as a unicorn,” reveals Stephanie, an entrepreneur, on her way out. At Morning Gloryville, some dreams become reality for punters and organizers alike. And the event does exactly what it set out to do: It revives the morning – with its very own ‘rave-olution.’

smart magazine Morning Gloryville

All the photos, incl. the header image: Juliane Späte