'I leave feeling euphoric': Meet the people who love to sober rave

One Sunday morning, tired after a weekend of intoxicated raving, my friend Jon and I turned up to an early sober rave.

When you arrive at an event hosted by Morning Gloryville, a sober partying company, you’re greeted with an optional hug and warm smiles all round.

People are dressed either as though they’ve walked straight out of Studio 54, or a hot yoga class.

It was a new experience for myself and Jon, but for many of the partygoers – high on adrenaline and nothing else – this is a normal Sunday morning.

Tim Ayris, 52, started sober raving five years ago with his wife, after friends told him about Morning Gloryville.

‘We were intrigued,’ he tells Metro.co.uk. ‘We are old school ravers but hadn’t been clubbing for years.

‘The late nights no longer worked for us and regular clubbing is really the preserve of younger people who aren’t bringing up a family – but we still love dancing to house and techno and wanted more than the occasional “kitchen disco” while cooking dinner on a Saturday night.

‘Now I love having the full club experience with a wonderful “up for it” crowd of all ages and backgrounds, with no hassle and great DJs.

‘We’ve re-discovered our love of clubbing.’

While not teetotal, Tim enjoys negating the hangover that was a fixture in his youthful clubbing days.

But sober clubbing has made him now drink less overall.

‘I have definitely reduced the amount I drink since I starting clubbing at Morning Gloryville,’ he says. ‘These days, it is a couple of glasses of wine at the weekend, because I don’t need to get drunk to have fun. In fact, the opposite. Regular clubs don’t really appeal anymore.’

With all the fun there is to be had at these events – serving up only health shakes and soft drinks – why lean on alcohol?

This year, some 6.5million people in the UK planned to do Dry January 2021, according to Alcohol Change UK. It was a huge increase on the year previous.

Over various lockdowns, people experienced changes in their drinking habits – either going for more or less.

Many people wouldn’t dare go to a clubbing type venue without some from of Dutch courage in their system, but perhaps it’s time to rethink alcohol’s prevalence in party culture.

It doesn’t seem to limit Tim’s experience, as ‘after three hours of solid dancefloor action’, he says he leaves ‘feeling euphoric, flushed with endorphins and feel-good vibes’.

The feel-good vibes come from more than just dancing alone. As Jon and I explored the venue, cocoa shake in hand, we saw breakout rooms for people wanting to press pause on the dancing and engage in other activities instead.


Exercise classes took place, children’s entertainment was had, energy healing sessions were held for the spiritual and natural alternatives to coffee were shared.

A wide range of people were around us, all of different ages and in different social set ups. From the yoga mum to the young man wearing a light-up costume, there was something for everyone.

Most welcome, there was a space to sit down and rest tired legs before heading back to the dancefloor – which was filled with people, lasers and music.

Also new to the experience is Coco Malone, a 44-year-old from Tottenham, who entered the world of sober raving just this year.

She says: ‘My friends and I were looking for something to do where we could go out and enjoy ourselves, but that “something” had to be an event that felt wholesome and soul filling.

‘I don’t think I could fit in everything I enjoy about Morning Gloryville – I love that you’re offered a hug as soon as you get through the door and the connectedness you feel with all your fellow ravers is beautiful.

‘I love that nobody has an agenda, no one is trying to impress anyone else, everyone is just there to have a great time. And, of course, I love the music.

‘Before my first event, I wondered if I would feel awkward about dancing sober – but it was completely the opposite.

‘When I used to go out to regular clubs, instead of giving me more confidence, alcohol would actually make me feel very self-conscious and unable to let go and dance freely.

‘I wish I’d discovered this way years ago. I could have been dancing freely for all this time.’

While I’m not ready to give up drunk partying, and neither is Jon, we were surprised to find ourselves ‘dancing freely’, expecting some awkwardness without the haze that comes with having done shots.


On a packed dancefloor, where everyone is there simply for a good time, it’s hard to not feel joyous and in with the crowd – especially when people come up to you while blowing bubbles and waving you down for photos.

Who cares how well you can dance?

Roxy Deniz Ozalp, who works for Morning Gloryville, says sober raving is more about promoting feelings of happiness and energy than anything else.

She says: ‘Dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins are all made and managed in the brain.

‘Each one is responsible for different aspects of our overall happiness, and without going into deep neurochemistry, if you look up how to get these hormones flowing, we believe attending an event covers all your bases, especially the dancing.’

At their largest events in the UK, over 1,000 people get in on the action. Next year they plan to expand, though are prepared to take to Zoom for a while, if need be with the state of the pandemic in flux.

‘It is still normalised that socialising, networking and all types of human interactions should be found in events or meetings that revolve around alcohol or mind altering substances,’ says Roxy. ‘Getting out of your head, not into it.

‘We create a space where people who are choosing a sober and plant-based way of being are encouraged to learn, connect and create and express themselves.

‘We don’t take a radical or militant stance around being sober or vegan, or being aware of global issues – we see it as a place to explore this way of living, even if someone doesn’t practice this strictly in “normal” life.’

The beginnings of the company started in 2013, when one of the founders decided to set up a small sober festival event in an East London club – from there it grew into a business.

Now it’s a community in its own right.

Coco feels that after many years of being out all night, a morning rave now feels like ‘the right way round’. 

‘When I leave a Morning Gloryville event my soul is full, I’ve got the biggest smile on my face,’ she says.

‘We’re all exhausted from hours of non-stop dancing, but it’s the best kind of exhausted when you know you’ve just been part of something great.’

Jon and I couldn’t agree more, strolling out some hours later feeling alarmingly energised for a Sunday morning, and hungry, ready to go grab lunch sans hangover.

You can buy tickets for the next event here, which is due to take place on January 1, 2022.

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article