Around the American workplace, lunchtime for many of us means a sandwich choked down at our desk in front of the computer.
It seems the Europeans are having way more noontime fun—especially the Swedes. Workers there are getting away to do the lunchtime boogie at something called “Lunch Beat.”
As reported by Nathalie Rothschild, writing for Slate, the trend began in 2010 when 14 friends decided to dance away their lunch breaks in their office garage. Soon, word spread and the underground (literally) movement began to gain momentum.
Today, these “Lunch Beat” events are being held at a variety of venues across Sweden, and copycat clubs are starting to spring up across the continent. As many as 600 people attend some of these noon raves.
Lunch Beat events can be put together by any person, group or company anywhere in the world, as long as the organizers respect the founders’ Manifesto, which is a list of ten rules.
The event must —
- Be nonprofit
- Take place at lunch time
- Have a 60-minute DJ set
- Include a takeout lunch
Another rule: you don’t talk about your job at Lunch Beat. They’re not meant to be a business networking opportunity. It’s supposed to embody “playfulness, participation and community,” as written in the manifesto. And you are expected to dance. Lunch Beat wants dancers, not gawkers.
The high noon raves have all the trappings of a trendy disco, with flashing strobe lights, pulsating techno music, funky wall projections and a dance floor crowded with gyrating, sweating hoofers. The party starts at high noon and ends promptly at 1 p.m. And while a sandwich, fruit, and water are included in the ticket price, drugs and alcohol are strictly forbidden.
The trend has apparently gone mainstream in Sweden. The phrase “lunch disco” was officially recognized in 2011 by the Swedish Language Council.
Can this craze make its way to American shores? Seems unlikely, given our workaholic culture. But, man, it sounds like a lot of fun.
(Photo at Lunch Beat Stockholm by Kristen Eddyson Photography)
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