Getting up before 5am on a Wednesday morning to fit in three hours of dancing before heading to work may fill the majority of us with fear. Yet, for the brave few, the new ‘breakfast rave’ formally known as Morning Gloryville is rapidly becoming a preferred choice over the traditional early morning gym session. Having been to the events in Leeds since they started in February this year, I was interested to find out more about this new ‘raveolution’.
Founded in 2013 by Samantha Mayo and Nico Thoemmes, Morning Gloryville aims to engage people with a fun form of exercise without the negative impacts of drugs and alcohol. Mayo said the idea of a ‘sober party’ came from looking for such an event but not finding anything like it, so she decided to create what she was looking for. The first rave took place in Shoreditch, East London but has since expanded to 23 cities around the world with Leeds jumping on board this February 2015.
To find out more about the events here in Leeds and in particular, the associated health benefits, I spoke with Collette who set up Morning Gloryville in the city with James F Clarke her now good friend.
Hi Collette, when and why did you set up Morning Gloryville (MGV) in Leeds?
I launched MGV in Leeds in February, with my now good friend, James F Clark. We’d never met before and both came across this extraordinary event, and contacted HQ independently. They hooked us up last October and we began laying plans for Leeds’ first sober morning rave. We both wanted to bring MGV to Leeds because it’s a) plain awesome b) a vehicle to build a genuine community c) it totally challenges societal norms and d) goes right on out there and flips people’s perceptions of what it means to go out to a bar and dance.
That’s great, so what do you want the events to achieve in Leeds?
To wake people up and get them connected to themselves and each other. We build a safe space that is inclusive and gives birth to a glorious community of shiny souls who just want to have a good time. It’s wholehearted nourishment for all the parts of yourself.
Allowing people to genuinely connect with each other builds community and this was important for me, particularly when it comes to yoga. I came across MGV when training to be a yoga teacher and I wanted Leeds to have a place where yogis, yoga teachers and people interested in yoga could come together. We wanted to create a space for young parents who couldn’t go clubbing anymore but still loved the music and the people. And we wanted to invite people from all walks of life to challenge themselves.
What do you think are the health benefits of ‘breakfast raving’?
Connection. Getting connected to yourself and other people is pure soul nourishment. You make better life choices when you’re fully present and aware. Yoga, massage and meditation are all paths to this deeper connection, which is why they play such an important part in the event. The same goes for the vendors we attract. People who are interested in promoting wellbeing: HappiFood and Nourish both serve incredible vegan, vegetarian and raw food at the event. Juices and smoothies are on offer, as well as more traditional soul food from Patti Smiths and the best coffee in town from Laynes. And, of course, dancing for four hours is never a bad thing. Although, you might need a long soak in the bath after a morning at one of our parties!
What age range do you get going to the events?
Our youngest raver has been 3 months and we’ve had plenty of Old Rave Pensioners at it from dawn. Leeds is a student city so we get young ravers in their early twenties and young families are big fans too. We attract folk in their thirties and forties, who used to go raving, back in the day and we’ve had groups with disabilities, running clubs, management meetings. You name it.
What have people said to you about their MGV experience?
People just love it. It’s incredibly liberating to show up with your whole self and be accepted for exactly who you are. For some people it can literally be a life changing experience. The MGV family reaches across 23 cities worldwide and some of the stories are incredibly moving. People who were suffering from deepest depression now have something to get out of bed for. People have got married after meeting at one of our parties. Last month, someone attended their mum’s funeral on the same day as MGV and said that dancing all morning gave her the courage to say goodbye and celebrate her mum’s life.
What do you see in the future for MGV?
MGV is just the beginning of this movement. The original vision was to bring conscious clubbing to the world stage and we’ve done that. We exist to expand hearts and minds and that’s going to be the main driver for the direction we take this beautiful, global family.
So, when’s the next event?
For the next event, we’re partnering with Leeds Laughter Fest and have started to curate an outstanding line up. We’re going to have laughing yoga, The Faun, comedians, clowns and maybe a puppet show. We had an owl demonstration at the last event in August, so no doubt there will be more surprises for October 7th.
That’s fantastic, thanks Collette for introducing more of us to the world of morning raving!
If you’re interested in attending the next Morning Gloryville in Leeds or intrigued to find out more visit:
Jennifer Gridley, Communications Officer, Leeds City Council
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