I got up at 5am to go to a sober rave and here’s what happened…

I wake up as my alarm goes off.

The time is 5am.

My usual routine is get up, turn off alarm, doze for half an hour and then leave the house in a panicked rush.

Today is different. I’m excited.

I catch my usual tube, taking the central line into London.

In my neon leggings I stand next to men in neatly ironed suits who are on their morning commute.

I’m also on my way to work, but I’ve got somewhere to be first.

This morning I’m going to a sober rave.


Morning Gloryville was founded in London in 2013 by Nico Thoemmes and Sam Moyo and is described as an “immersive morning dance party.”

Since it began it has developed into a global community of conscious clubbers with events taking place all over the world.

The main principals of the community as described in the manifesto are sustainability, love, harmony, evolution, balance, creativity and spiritual growth.

I’ve never been a morning person (aside from slightly manic, stressful periods when I would wake up early or in the middle of the night.)

Generally, I’m always craving five more minutes in bed and before I have my first coffee of the day I don’t feel human so I was skeptical of the idea that an early morning party could “energise” me for the day ahead.

girl with hula hoop on dance floor Morning Gloryville

When I arrive at the venue (The Ministry Of Sound) it seems a bit dead.

I’m expecting hoards of people to be queuing up but there’s only a couple milling about in the drizzle.

It’s too early to get in so I make conversation with Sam, a client partner and fellow Morning Gloryville virgin.

“A few of my friends tried it a couple of years ago and they said it was really good fun so I thought I’d give it a try too,” she says.

After having our auras cleansed by Paulina with a feather duster, we go inside where we are offered a hug by one of the “Wake-Up Angels.”


Against the energetic thud of a cool dance beat, an array of glittering, smiling people in brightly-coloured spandex convalesce in the entry room.

There are stalls with smoothies and raw vegan snacks, people contorting themselves into impressive yoga positions and a woman offering Angel Card readings.

It’s like I’ve stepped through the looking glass and into a fantasy world filled with all of my favourite things.


It’s amazing but also slightly overwhelming.

Like a kid in a sweet shop I don’t know what to try first.

In the end I opt for an Angel Card reading with the lovely Gilly Bean.

For Gilly, Morning Gloryville is all about making time in our busy lives to relax and re-focus on what’s truly important to us – whether or not that involves help from the angels.

She says, “It’s a really nice place where people are here enjoying themselves.

“It’s a time to take for yourself and to just enjoy connecting with what messages are coming through for you.”

Yoga at Morning Gloryville London

This particular event is called The Big Spring Clean and has a focus on sustainability.

Everyone is encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottles and there is a station manned by Swapaholics UK where you can trade in and swap second hand clothes.

I bump into a woman I initially clocked on the tube but was too shy to speak to.

Luisa Agliatta, an interdimensional metaphysical healer, has been coming to Morning Gloryville for a couple of years.

She says, “I’ve always loved a good party without all the heaviness of having to drink or take any drugs.

“I’m really not into that because it’s a bit contrary to my work.

“I’m a morning person so I like mornings. It just sets your day off beautifully.

“You get so much energy, meet some nice people and have a nice time.”

The zero alcohol element was also what attracted me to the event.


As a recovering alcoholic I’ve learnt that I can have much more fun sober than I ever had when I was drinking.

For years I’d convinced myself that dancing to shit music in dingy nightclubs, knocking back shots of vodka (which I would vomit up the next day) and blacking out was fun.

It wasn’t.

This is a sentiment that’s shared by Charlie Elliott who’s launching a business in holistic healing and has a background in mental health.

She says, “What’s really beautiful is that I know a lot of people that are in recovery.

“Discovering events and communities like this can be a game changer because it’s like ‘wow you can have so much fun and feel this connected, to people, to music, to expression and creativity without drugs, without any influence.’

“I think that in itself is a really powerful option for people.”


The event is also very inclusive and welcomes people from all walks of life.

Charlie adds, “It’s so diverse. You’ve got all ages, all races, all backgrounds, all religions coming together. It’s almost quite spiritual. We’re all here dancing.

“It’s like family to me.”

After a brief spin on the dance floor it’s time for me to get to work.

My time here was short-lived but there’s no doubt I’ll be back.

Lots of people complain about Londoners being callous and alloof.

But Morning Gloryville has an amazing sense of togetherness, community, joy and vibrancy.

In a room full of strangers, I feel like I belong.

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