Seize the day: Inside the hottest new clubbing trend of day raves

From nostalgic vibes to surprising health benefits, day raves — the hottest trend in going out — offer unique lifestyle experiences and are transforming clubland

day ravesIn recent years, a surprising trend has taken the global party scene by storm: day raves. Traditionally associated with the pulsating beats of electronic dance music (EDM) and vibrant, neon-lit nights, raves have undergone a transformative shift, embracing the energy of daylight hours while still satisfying the entertainment needs of the original rave generation.

Starting mid-afternoon and finishing early evening, day raves offer an experience that distinguishes them from their nocturnal counterparts. As well as ticking the nostalgia box for ravers now in their 40s and 50s, daytime raves cater to a broader demographic, attracting partygoers who prefer a more inclusive and accessible environment, allowing attendees to avoid late-night journeys – and still be home at a reasonable hour. There are even family raves such as The Playhouse Project, complete with activities for children and ravesThis isn’t just about moving the party to the daytime – it’s an entire lifestyle. As a recent GQ article bemusedly reported, the kind of 6am alcohol-free raves organised by the Daybreaker collective can really set you up for the day ahead, with yoga, spoken-word poetry, light painting, haiku writing and healthy snacks. By aligning with the natural circadian rhythm, daytime clubbing also allows attendees to enjoy their nights without disrupting their sleep cycle. Essentially, it’s a profound rejection of the traditional nightclub culture, with participants leaving venues feeling refreshed and energised.

Significantly, as the Guardian reported, the majority of these old-school events are now day raves, acknowledging that older clubbers are seeking a different vibe. And, despite initial scepticism, the concept is fast gaining in popularity, with the likes of Morning Gloryville, DnB Brunch and the UKG Brunch leading the way towards a literal, brighter dawn across a range of demographics.

Guilty Pleasures – the incredibly popular club night celebrating ‘uncool’ but beloved music – has also shimmied on board; their February daytime disco at the uber-cool Koko, Camden, went down so well they’re repeating it in May 2024.BEYOND VIP

Another such event, Day Fever, was founded by the frontman of 2000s dance band Reverend and the Makers Jon McClure, filmmaker Jonny Owen and actress Vicky McClure. The trio held their first afternoon clubbing event in Sheffield City Hall in December last year. The overwhelming success – tickets sold out in 48 hours – inspired them to take the concept on the road; and their event at Here, Charing Cross Road, was also a sell-out.

The team now plans to host monthly events in London and in cities across the UK – including Line of Duty star Vicky’s home city, Nottingham. As Jon says: “It’s beautiful to see women coming together, feeling safe. It’s a nicer atmosphere, and a lot of this is catered towards that.”

But this isn’t just a UK trend – the jet-set are showing a hunger for daytime partying, paying top dollar for luxury music festival experiences, such as Henley in the UK, and Coachella in the US, which boasts high-priced VIP ravesThese exclusive packages are taking the festival tradition far beyond glamping, with events such as Iceland’s midnight sun music and culture festival, Secret Solstice, offering a $1m package — the world’s most expensive festival ticket — for the 96 hours of sunlight.

In addition to the usual VIP treats like priority and backstage access, the ticket includes luxury spa access and personalised glam squad, private dining in unique locations, chartered helicopter tours over Iceland’s dramatic landscape and sledding across the Langjökull glacier in complimentary gear from 66North.

So, what’s behind all this? Inevitably, the Covid-19 pandemic may have had something to do with it. From sleep hygiene, early nights, fitness apps and trackers, health has been fetishised as never before, along with a more mindful approach to socialising.

And this swing from hedonism to health has been quietly (and soberly) reshaping the landscape of everything from clubbing to travel, with younger, high-profile HNWIs, such as Cara Delevingne and Gigi Hadid, shunning booze – the latter recently launched her Kin Euphorics non-alcohol drinks range – while simultaneously reaping the benefits of natural light, fresh air, and outdoor ravesOPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

From a business strategy viewpoint, there’s clearly bags of potential here, emphasising the health benefits, creating merchandise that reflects daytime clubbing culture, and collaborating with influencers, musicians, and brands that align with the daytime clubbing ethos.

And, in a broader way, the market is indeed paying attention. A notable player is Saudi Arabia, whose alcohol-free luxury resorts, and upscale restaurants serving mocktails reflect a broader effort by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to make the kingdom more foreigner friendly while keeping the country’s culture intact. And that’s good timing, as the kingdom is projected to lead the Middle East in UHNW individual growth, with a 79% increase in millionaires by 2027.Meanwhile, in Singapore and Hong Kong, Dry January has become a lasting trend, and the reduction in alcohol consumption, particularly among Gen-Z, has led to the emergence of luxury zero-alcohol drink pairings in numerous Michelin-starred restaurants.

So, in a world where wellness is increasingly taking centre stage, this move towards sober, pre-sunset socialising feels like an important paradigm shift. Along with crucial health benefits, daytime raving offers an escape from the daily grind – and all the global sociopolitical upheaval. But can it last?

Make ours a no-groni… and we’ll see you on the dance floor as the rooster crows.

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