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Four Ways to Not Get a Hangover, by Samuel Bishop

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This is taken from our spring 2015 issue. | Subscribe in time for the summer issue and three more. 

Four Ways to Not Get a Hangover

No alcohol nights in Dublin, Ireland

By Samuel Bishop.

“You might as well be dancing around naked like a mad yoke with your eyes closed in your own bedroom.”

A few weeks ago, I found myself in a pitch-black, Dublin city centre basement at 7pm on a Wednesday, surrounded by pumping techno. Not only could I not see anyone, I had no idea who was there. Only if I looked deep enough into the darkness could I make out silhouettes of fellow attendees. This was my first experience of the Soda Bread Box, the no-lights, no-alcohol, no-dress-code dance session new to Dublin.

I think the magic of it is that you can’t see anyone and they can’t see you. This isn’t about hooking up, or meeting new people, it’s about full-on dancing, in whatever way your body and mind want to take you – a whole new experience.

And it’s just one of a number of alcohol-free events that I have had the pleasure of trying out over the past year. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not here to advise you what not to do; some of my favourite moments have been spent with a creamy pint in hand. What I am keen to point out is that there is a drastic lack of social spaces that do not require you to buy an alcoholic beverage. So when new spaces and events pop-up that challenge the way of life wherein heading to the pub more often than not means leaving locked, it’s all the more important to shout about them and celebrate them.

The Funky Seomra is probably the most well-known. With a healthy food stall, massage, games, art, and of course hours of great tunes, it now takes place in Dublin, Galway, Belfast and Cork. dancefree.ie

Morning Gloryville is the eager newbie having kicked off here last year. It happens monthly, on a Wednesday morning and it’s nuts, probably the craziest possible way to start your day. It starts at 6am and you’ll fi nd an aerobics style MC, brilliant 90s tunes, colourful lycra, yoga, massage, fruit juices and smoothies. There is NO chance of falling back to sleep after this experience. It’s as invigorating as a dip in the Irish Sea. facebook.com/morninggloryvilledublin

While these three high-octane dance events don’t happen in every town in Ireland, dance co-op alcohol-free nights now take place across the country in community halls and other spaces. It’s great that people are focussing on moving from an out-of-date, unhealthy tradition towards a positive, healthy, inclusive future. They challenge the status-quo and the general acceptance that it’s okay to get locked. And it’s why we created Paddy’s Day Unlocked, a new, family-friendly, alcohol-free event for St Patrick’s Day, taking place after the parades have finished. We first held it in Limerick in 2014 with great success; more than six thousand people came through the doors to see the choirs, dancers, bands, DJs and performers. We want to demonstrate an alternative story to the one that Ireland is known for now. One which does not rely on alcohol as our key ingredient, main identity or selling point! Ultimately, Paddy’s Day Unlocked is a chance to unlock Ireland’s potential by showcasing the best of our culture. happenings.ie

Samuel is events coordinator at Happenings & Street Feast. You can connect with him on Twitter at @samue1.

 This is taken from our spring 2015 issue. | Subscribe in time for the summer issue and three more.

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