The Rise of Sober Social Events

Radha Agrawal is the cofounder of Daybreaker, a similar booze-free event with a greater focus on fitness. Daybreaker is a morning dance party held monthly. It started in 2013 and quickly gained in popularity, spreading to 17 cities. According to the organizers, the event attracts young professionals and creative types in their early 20s through late 30s. Daybreaker starts at 6 a.m. The first hour is a fitness event, like yoga, open to 200 people. At 7 a.m., the dance party starts and lasts until 9 a.m. These last two hours and are open to 600 guests.

“When we first launched Daybreaker, we were like, ‘OK, people have to forget that they’re sober,'” Agrawal recalls. In order to give people a natural high, Daybreaker uses the element of surprise: “Every 15 minutes, we introduce what we call a wow moment,” Agrawal explains, “which has everything from dueling saxes or a dance trio or a fire thrower or a drum line or a breakdance community.”

Stephanie Bagley is in her early 30s and has been going to Daybreaker since the beginning. “I barely miss any NYC Daybreakers,” she admits. Bagley says the amount of fun you have without booze is eye opening. “The energy and glow you have after is even more telling . . . you want to share it with the world.” According to Bagley, Daybreaker is free of judgement and awkwardness, and she says you would be “hard-pressed to find even one person not giving it all they’ve got on the dance floor.” The physical activity provides its own high, which Agrawal calls the Daybreaker DOSE. Each “morning rave” is optimized to naturally release dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins, according to Agrawal.

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