It’s a little before 6 a.m., and the morning rush is just picking up in Boston’s financial district. A parade of business attire stretches down Hamilton Street, while in Prime Nightclub, a crowd is collecting. The city’s first sober morning rave was hosted on the upper floors of restaurant Umbria Prime Thursday morning. Featuring dance, Acroyoga, kickboxing, and kale smoothies, Awake Boston offered a less-than-expected start to the workday.
The event was inspired by the travels of founders Stef Porcaro and Hillary Bucklin—who met in February working as waitresses in Cambodia. The New England natives had quit their day jobs the previous year to seek out a new style of living in Asia. Resources like water and electricity were scarce in Cambodia and the waitress work itself was grueling, but the two found it an overall joyful place, and spent many morning dancing ’til sunrise.
They began making plans for how they would bring their experiences in Cambodia back to Boston—and after spending some time in London, researching the morning rave scene there, the two saw this alternative rave culture a good fit for New England. Awake Boston was designed to break down the separation of work life and play, while promoting clean living and alternative exercise. The event lasted 3 and a half hours, and concluded at 9:30 a.m., just as the city’s commuter traffic was easing up.