As the sun started to peak over Downtown Los Angeles, I timidly walked to what looked like a private warehouse with my younger sister and her group of friends. The thermostat showed 58 degrees yet crowds of party-goers were wearing high waisted shorts, crop tops and leotards. Once we made it through the front door, house music blasted through the entire room. Dancers were covered in neon gear and dressed in a variety of costumes as the bar gave out shots of coffee. Not only was this my first rave, but it was at 6 am and everyone was stone-cold sober.
A mere 12 hours earlier, my sister texted me about this event.
“I’m going to a sober rave at 6am tomorrow haha,” she texted. “They give you like snacks and coffee and there’s a juice bar. Before work.”
I took no hesitation to invite myself. I had never gone to a rave for fear of large crowds and that drunk girl who throws up on your shoes. But the idea of raving sober before work? I could not pass up the opportunity to tag along with my sister (whether she wanted me there or not).
The event known as Daybreaker, was held at The Springs, an eco-chic vegan restaurant in the Arts District of Downtown LA. What was originally a social experiment bringing the organic and tribal element of dance and raving to daybreak has now turned into a morning phenomenon that gives you a much stronger buzz than coffee to start your day!
Upon entry, we were greeted with a bar full of good-for-you goodies. Instead of a standard list of specialty cocktails or artisan beer, there was free kombucha, energy bars, water, smoothies, and cool swag to keep you feeling amazing while you dance the dawn away.
As I previously mentioned, raves are not my thing. I like my music, dancing, and alcohol as much as the next person, but there’s something about raves that seem overly artificial. I remember the days when my older sister would sneak out with her friends, drive to the desert, and party at a real rave until the sunrise in an abandoned and worn down warehouse. She would post all of the invitations on her wall and eventually had a mural of rave artwork. It may not have been glamorous, but people were coming together for something bigger than themselves, something authentic and meaningful. Now raves are corporate owned parties, overhyping and overpricing, making raves as commercialized as Las Vegas.
This event was not one of those “raves”. This was genuine people, feeling genuinely happy. When we walked in, everyone was bouncing to the music, their clothes representing their personality. You could feel the buzz of energy coursing through the room like electricity. It was contagious! As awkward and bizarre as I felt when I first arrived, I eventually couldn’t help but sway my long hair from side to side and feel the rhythm of the beat. I started to think, “Maybe I am a rave person!”
An hour into the two-hour rave, my sister and friends had to leave for work. I’m lucky enough that I have such flexibility in my job, so I stayed! As the crowd got larger and the bass got louder, I continued to dance on my own like it was going out of style. Until a rather tall, lanky gentlemen started to dance next to me, inching closer and closer. Then it was time to leave.
Daybreaker was so much fun! If you work in the morning or don’t, or are young or are old or love raves or hate raves… YOU SHOULD GO! It completely changed my perspective on house music, raves, and the free-spiritedness of dancing! Take your friends, your spouses, yourself and just feel the moment!