By Lucas Williams, Staff Writer
Leave it to the Swedish to think up a healthier option for nightlife. An innovative Swede has dared to do the unthinkable—open a substance-free club. On Friday, Sept. 26, Stockholm’s Sodra Theater hosted a non-alcoholic club night logically named “Sober.” In an age where alcohol goes hand in hand with club culture, a dry club is an anomaly. Guests were greeted with breathalyzers at the doors and staff monitored the crowd for individuals under the influence of drugs. Seems like too much trouble for people just looking for fun.
Despite the stern anti-drug policy, tickets for Sober sold out a week prior to the event. Sober was meant to be a haven for those who choose not to drink or do drugs. It’s always uncomfortable for sober club-goers to be around drinkers prone to recklessly getting their freak on in a club. So it’s safe to assume that at Sober, drunken douchebags are nowhere to be found—only sober ones who don’t slur as much. Of course, not everyone who drinks is a wasted train-wreck, and not everyone who’s sober is Jesus. Likewise, a regular nightclub isn’t necessarily better or worse than Sober. Just different.
Though it seems highly unlikely, if non-alcoholic clubs were to miraculously become mainstream, the absence of alcohol could possibly cut down the cases of club violence and drunk drivers. Nobody would need to be assigned the role of that one sober friend who has to drive, keep track of everyone and hold their puking friends’ hair in front of the toilet. Everybody would be “that sober friend.”
As expected, many people were visibly uncomfortable about dancing without the help of alcohol. When I think of a non-alcoholic club, a scene similar to a painfully uncomfortable middle school dance first comes to mind, with people awkwardly shuffling around with their arms crossed and eyes glued to the floor. But people actually enjoyed their substance-free club experience. This raises the question – do we need drugs and alcohol to have a good time?
The answer is obviously “no,” but places like Sober exist for those who don’t want to drink or feel pressure to. And Let’s be honest, it’s not marketed towards the typical college kid or vivacious twenty-something. Sober can be seen as a diet alternative to regular nightlife. It has all the ecstasy (not the drug) of a regular club without the risks of a blackout, vomiting and drunk-texting. And the best part: no hangover.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of is that its crowd was made up of middle-aged recovered alcoholics who danced alongside teenagers (yes, sober law-abiding teenagers in a club), yogis and mothers. Everyone there was given an equal opportunity to have fun. And if a club without alcohol can bring all of these people together in the name of partying, then who are we to judge?