I Went To A Morning Rave, And Actually Enjoyed It

It's worth the painfully early start for the amount of fun you will have, all before 9am.

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For most people, the prospect of waking up at 4:45am to go to an early morning rave on a boat sounds like hell on earth. 

And, sure enough, as I turned off my alarm and threw on some clothes in the dark this morning, I definitely felt myself internally retching at the idea. By 5am I was out of the door with my friend who I had persuaded to come with me on the premise that she would get all the free cold brew coffee she could drink onboard The Dixie Queen (or as we were referring to, rather unimaginatively, as 'the party boat').

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At least going into this boat party, I knew that if the room appeared to be moving it would be the motion of the Thames rather than a gin-induced daze. The only botanicals we were going to encounter when we arrived at Welcome to the Botanical Garden at 6am, would be non-alcoholic. The party organisers,Daybreaker, are just one of a few companies who have reinvented clubbing for a new generation of healthy young professionals.

In a society where we are increasingly choosing to splash the cash on green juices and hybrid exercise classes, I couldn't help wondering if this was really the future for millennial partying. Are we finally so health conscious that we will trade vodka for ginger and lemongrass shots once and for all?

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Who Was There?

The boat was full of the most diverse range of people: city boys in shirts, girls in crop tops, women in work out gear, and even a guy in a squid costume. Dressed for work, the only items of clothing I was wearing that I felt were remotely trendy enough were my faithful Adidas Superstars. 

My friend fared a little better than me in a red leotard and workout leggings. 'Because if there is any acceptable occasion to wear a leotard in public, it's definitely this', she'd stated earlier. For future attendees, a Fitbit and face glitter are the only accessories you will need here.

Can You Drink Through It? 

We instinctively headed for the bar, as if hardwired from years of regular clubbing experiences to dull our self-consciousness with something alcoholic before starting to dance. Instead, the cocktails were made with the non-alcoholic spirit alternative Seedlip, which is now being stocked in selected London bars after being sold exclusively at Selfridges earlier this year. 

You'd be forgiven for mistaking the mocktails for cocktails; the spicy hints and the sweet grapefruit twist in the Seedlip and Fevertree cocktails made for a surprisingly sophisticated soft alternative. 

Is Dancing Mandatory?

Seven non- alcoholic cocktails later, it was 7am the dance floor was full. A girl dressed for work in a skater dress tapped me on the shoulder and enthusiastically shouted in my ear 'would you like to join our dance circle?' 

This must be the single most polite thing anyone has ever said to me on a dance floor, and so I rose to the occasion by pulling out my best Beyoncé moves. And as I was dancing there, cheered on by a circle of complete strangers, on a boat in the middle of the Thames, it suddenly occurred to me that I was genuinely enjoying this. It was pretty impossible not to, what with the world's most dedicated hype-man singing 'We are the Daybreakers!' over the booming remixes.

When I asked Graham, a 28-year-old branding expert from New York why on earth he decided to come to an early morning rave, he just said that it was 'unique.' 

Graham was the guy dressed as the squid by the way, evidence in himself for the unique spirit of the event. But, like any good party, it's best to leave before it starts to disintegrate. As the boat docked at London Bridge at 8:30, my friend and I danced off the pontoon and back to the tube, ready to start the day and already resolved to go to the next event. But also slightly wondering how we would feel when our caffeine high plummeted.

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