Leeds wakes up with morning rave

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it’s 6.30am, piano house legend Davos is in full flow and the dancefloor is heaving – but it’s not filled with wasted revellers clamouring for the last track of the night, this lot are stone-cold sober, it’s a weekday and they set their alarms this morning to rave their way into the day!

Around 350 people from across the city kicked off their day with a healthy rush of endorphins at the launch party of Morning Gloryville Leeds at Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds city centre.

The city's first morning rave at the Belgrave Music Hall. Picture by Andrew McCaren/Ross Parry

The city's first morning rave at the Belgrave Music Hall. Picture by Andrew McCaren/Ross Parry

High on nothing stronger than superfood smoothies and coffee, clubbers young and old donned sequins, glitter and headdresses and left their problems on the shelf to wake up like they had never woken up before – before heading off to their day jobs a few hours later.

Leeds yoga instructor Collette Davis, who organised the event with business partner, artist and events organiser James Clarke, said: “People were queuing out of the door at 6.30am. It was unbelievable.

“The doors opened and they just flooded through.

“It exceeded our expectations beyond all measure.

“The people of Leeds were so up for it, I was blown away with everyone.”

The sunrise rave proved such a hit the duo confirmed it would be a monthly event from now on in Leeds.

Leaving the sunny street at 8.30am to step into what looked and felt just like a nightclub at around 2.30am – complete with chill-out zone, sweat-drenched party-animals and crazy outfits – was surreal in the extreme.

All the best elements of clubbing were present – smiling faces, friendly atmosphere, people there purely for the love of music and dance – and none of the negatives that go hand in hand with the usual clubbing crowds of rowdy, stumbling drunks and people out of their heads on other substances.

The “rave-olution” that turns clubbing on its head attracted a wonderfully diverse crowd, from teenage university students to breast feeding mums and old-school ravers.

Parents who would balk at the idea of letting their children dance in the midst of an inebriated throng happily grooved alongside little ones clutching balloons and glow sticks.

Chapel Allerton mum Emma McGovern, who was there with 13-month-old daughter Ana, said: “Being able to bring her is brilliant.

“It’s a bit more fun than a mummies’ coffee morning.”

The dawn disco dancing craze is not only sweeping the nation but the globe. Morning Gloryville now runs in 20 cities around the world and this morning there were similar “raves” taking place simultaneously in Berlin, London and Madrid.

Born out of a desire among 30 and 40-something former ravers who still want to let loose to great music but have now embraced a healthier lifestyle, the concept has struck a chord with millions.

Morley nursery nurse Charis Deyong, 38, said: “I was a raver in my day – I went to all the festivals and the Orbit, Stinky’s, all over really.

“I’m just trying to live more healthily nowadays but I still want to party and I love to dance.

“I just think it’s a brilliant start to the day.”

Key to the event’s success was the playlist. Guests were certainly burning calories but this was nothing like a gym class workout. This was full-on, hands in the air, crowd-uniting euphoric raving.

Along with four hours of dancefloor fillers including Donna Summer’s I Feel Love and Randy Crawford’s Street Life, there were massages, reiki sessions, live art, a kids’ crafts zone and even yoga sessions on the rooftop terrace.

Peter Boydell, from Chapel Allerton, stood out even among the colourful crowd – dressed as Horus, the Egyptian sun god.

The 33-year-old said: “Usually when you go out and you’re drunk and whatever you don’t remember anything. I remember everything from today and it’s been really great from start to finish and I’ve danced more than I ever have before.”

University of Leeds student Sarah Ross, 19, said: “It was really nice to let go and dance, sober. It’s a lot better because you can remember it and appreciate the music – and not be hungover.”

Abi Fox, from Headingley, said: “I think it’s amazing, the fact that little kids are here enjoying dancing and parents are showing children how you can have fun as adults – and having that healthy aspect to it as well.”

As the ravers trickled out of the venue, blinking as their eyes adjusted to the sunlight, it was with a spring in their step – rather than that sinking feeling that comes with knowing the hangover is about to kick in.

The next Morning Gloryville Leeds will take place on Wednesday March 25.

Graham Pearce of KPMG

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