Last updated April 25th 2015
Israelis just took their love of partying to a new level. Last week, 350 energized partygoers packed the dance floor of Tel Aviv’s Breakfast Club, which featured a live DJ, pole dancer and brass trio.
This might sound like a regular night out in Tel Aviv’s famous party scene. But it wasn’t a night out at all. It was a “morning” out; the entire party kicked off at 6:30 am with a group yoga session immediately followed by dancing till 9 am.
While alcohol is usually the crutch people use to let loose, not a single drop was served. Instead, these bright-eyed, bushy-tailed partygoers flanked the bar for coffee, juice and shots of green tea. After all, it was just the start of the day, and most people were headed to work afterwards (except maybe for the one guy dressed in a blue bathrobe).
This was the Tel Aviv launch of Daybreaker, an organized movement of monthly morning parties that began in New York and has spread rapidly to include Los Angeles, San Francisco, London and other major cities.
“A lot of nightlife can be dark and exclusionary,” Daybreaker co-founder Matt Brimer tells ISRAEL21c. “We want to turn nightlife on its head. Daybreaker is the beginning of your day, not the end of your night, and it’s a very different feeling. If you’re willing to wake up much earlier than you normally would to dance your face off without any alcohol– that’s a strong intentionality.”
The event—which completely sold out—proved that Israelis are waking up to the idea of sober sunrise parties, even when it costs them NIS 80 to 120 ($20-$30) for entrance.The more expensive ticket price includes the yoga session.
“It was hard to get up; I’m not a morning person,” concedes party guest Roy Yanai, a third-year computer science student who had plans to attend class at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya following the party. “But it’s a lot of fun. No cigarettes, no alcohol and no aftermath. If I were at a normal party, I’d spend the 80 NIS on alcohol easily.”
Morning person or not, ironically no one could tell the time of day once inside the dark, windowless basement of Breakfast Club.
“I’d prefer next time for it to be outside a bit, but it’s really fun,” says partygoer Yael Siso, who works at the co-working environment Mindspace. “I’m more a morning person, so for me it’s perfect, and the people have good energy. People who are willing to come in the morning, they’re selective.”
Celebrating warm weather
Indeed, the appeal is counterintuitive: Wake up super early on a weekday with a full day of work ahead of you in order to dance soberly for a few hours. But perhaps the novelty is the greatest draw.
“The main thing is it’s a time and space without drugs or alcohol,” says Daybreaker co-founder Radha Agrawal. “It’s an environment that doesn’t require substances, and everyone is so connected. To replace the alcohol, we bring in performers throughout the party to surprise and delight our guests.”
While Daybreaker is new to Tel Aviv, the morning party scene has been stirring since last summer when Tel Aviv local Biky Paloma Stoleru began organizing a series of #SaveTheMorning parties, which, like Daybreaker, focus on wellness and shun alcohol.
Stoleru’s next event on April 30 starts at a leisurely 3:30 pm but, nonetheless, will be fueled by wholesome, fresh-squeezed orange juice.
“We just started to have parties and it grew every time,” Stoleru says of last summer’s success. “But in the winter cold, people didn’t wake up. It was kind of funny. Israelis and cold winter don’t get along so well.”
This summer, Stoleru plans to shake off the winter slumber and revive the morning party momentum once again. Between her #SaveTheMorning ambitions and Daybreaker’s monthly party, Tel Aviv might truly become the city that never oversleeps.
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