Alcohol-free morning raves set to hit Scotland’s night clubs

Shake Awake morning raves aim to attract a wide range of people to alcohol-free dance events.
Shake Awake morning raves aim to attract a wide range of people to alcohol-free dance events.
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Dark, noisy nightclub raves with music blasting out throughout the night are facing a bit of competition from a “new kid on the block” – “shake awake” morning raves.

Shake Awake being launched for the first time in Scotland on Monday at Edinburgh’s Cabaret Voltaire nightspot, sees dark dance floors transformed by colourful light installations, LED and fairy lights, with upbeat, feel-good music for dancing, and alcohol-filled bar menus replaced with nutritious shakes, smoothies and mocktails – alcohol-free cocktails.

And instead of chilling in the smoking areas, clubbers relax by having a massage or joining in dance yoga classes.

Morning-sober-raves originated in London in 2013, spread to Bristol and are a phenomenon across Europe with the only rules being “no booze and only positive vibes allowed”.

Supporters include influential DJs and singers such as Fat Boy Slim and Boy George, with music by Swamp! by The Brothers Johnson and Deee-Lite’s Groove is in your Heart, favourites at the sessions.

Mariusz Bogacki, events co-ordinator at the nightclub, said he had been approached by two students at the University of Edinburgh, Isla Wilson and Isabella Purvis, asking if they would stage the events at the club.

“The whole idea of the Shake Awake fits in with our revamping plans to use the space in new and imaginative ways including attracting the wider community to attend events, talks and classes here during the day and in the evenings,” he said.

“It’s really important to show that clubbing and dancing are the sort of social events which don’t have to include alcohol.

Entry to the event, which runs from 7:30am to 10am, is £7 with concessions available, and also gives free access to yoga classes and massage.

Ms Wilson, 21, who is in her fourth year studying international relations, said: “The idea came from a friend who had set up Shake Awake in Bristol [which has] been at music festivals over the summer.

“We love the whole clubbing ethos, I think clubbing is the final frontier of what you can do sober. People tend to associate dancing a bit too much as something you can only do if you’ve been drinking. But you can do it sober.

“There are so many ways to have a fun time without alcohol and other substances which are so ingrained in the UK culture. Shake Awake is also focussed on community involvement and we want to attract not just students, but people living nearby.”