Issue 16

Secret London morning rave

By Juhi Pande

I went to my first Goa rave when I was twenty. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced. People from different planets and the music that they brought along with them, the beach, the sea and the inevitable spectacular sunrise made a great recipe for falling in love. Disco Valley in its glory days was a force to be reckoned with.

Psychedelic trance is the deep end of the pool, and since it was my initiation experience, everything after got categorized into either mellow, vanilla or lame. I had tasted blood and that’s where I wanted to be for the next decade.

Back then had anyone even mentioned a sober morning rave to me I would have balked at the idea and probably even ridiculed them. Youth comes with its own array of follies.

It took fourteen years and some serious evolution to immediately say ‘yes!’ to a friend who asked me if I wanted to come for Morning Glory, a 6:30am rave in the middle of a working week.

I had no idea what Morning Glory was, but some investigation revealed that it was a social clubbing movement started in 2013 by Samantha Moyo and Nico Thoemmes, who came up with the idea of starting out mornings with style and fun rather than the same old boring routine that all of us are so used to; shower, coffee, toast, warp speed. Their idea was to turn city clubbing on its head and move it from its expected night time schedule to something you kick off your day with as the sun is rising.

The gig I was going was also Morning Glory’s first anniversary, and I was psyched for it, although needless to say, setting your alarm for 5am is no fun, regardless of what the day has in store. I woke up feeling like death warmed up, checked the weather report, which said that it was going to be a sunny day, and figured I’d bike up to the bus stop where I was meeting my friends.

Weather forecasters need to be waterboarded.

It was drizzling, completely overcast, and riding in the rain made me want to kick puppies. I reached the bus stop and the only solace was that my friends were looking as drenched and sleepy as me.

Not enough is said about misery loving company.

A quick bus ride later I found myself at the entrance to a warehouse with a zebra, a neon green man, lots of glitter and a bunch of extremely cheery people. I made a quick mental note to not dress like a bible salesman the next time I came for something like this. More friends joined us and insisted that we check in all our bags and jackets at the entrance. It’s going to get hot, they said.

Walking into a room with about 400 people all jumping in semi-unison works like mainlining adrenaline. The whole idea of dancing your way into the day suddenly made sense. This was better than any jog or workout I’ve ever tried.

The music was clean, happy dance music with a couple of live musicians who’d pop in and out and jam with the DJ. There was an official ‘Bubbleologist’ with an impressive belt full of bubble-making gadgets and a smoothie counter with vile looking (but absolutely delicious) spirulina and spinach smoothies. There was also a coffee kiosk, a massage area and a corner where a guy and a girl in different colored tutus were doing aerial yoga. I stood watching, transfixed for a while, jealous of their talent... and their tutus.

The party was from 6:30am to 9:30am, but as we hit the halfway mark, people started to leave for work. The gold high-tops came off and the brogues came on.

I swigged a double espresso and made my way out of the warehouse into a still rainy morning, but unlike two hours ago I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with nothing but good vibes for the rest of the day.

Morning Glory is a once a month party/rave that happens in East London. Find out more by visiting their site.


Juhi Pande is a a traveller, ice breaker and story teller. You can find her blog here, and she tweets @JuhiPande.

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