The health rave breaks with party culture by harnessing its wasteful expenditure to the goal of productivity.
It is six AM. I am in an industrial warehouse in Bushwick. Instead of thin plastic cups of Old Crow and Rolling Rock, the cute, amicable bartenders are serving boutique coffee and nine dollar organic pressed juices. The clientele looks eminently employable. A man wearing face paint is hanging from a rope swing over a foam pit. I am attending my first-ever sober rave. There’s the muffled groove of house music bouncing off of empty brick buildings; there’s the bouncer at the door checking wrist stamps; there’s the high, industrial ceiling with its exposed beams. But instead of ambling past the K-holed zombie waste-oids and afterhours addicts double-fisting Red Bull cans, I’m being greeted by the event’s anointed “hugger” who drapes a plastic lei around my neck and wishes me a good morning.
The dance floor is spring-loaded and a group of scruffy, possible startup consultants sweating in their unbuttoned pinstripe shirts, are bouncing and giggling, arms draped over each other’s shoulders. A couple of wiry thirtysomethings wearing prayer beads and colorful athleticwear are upside down, challenging each other to duration handstands (they must be vegan; I don’t know how else you get that skinny). The dance movement therapists by the DJ booth see me looking out of place and invite me to express myself through free-form improvisational movement; I politely decline.