At Daybreaker's early morning parties, revelers greet the day with dancing, not drinking

March 16, 2020 – 11:28 pm

Daily News reporters Jeanette Settembre and Justin Rocket Silverman get an early morning wakeup call at Daybreaker, a sober dance party that starts at 7 a.m.Plenty of dance parties end as the sun is coming up. But this one sets you up for the rest of the day.

Forget about the rhythm of the night. The early morning Daybreaker party is the wakeup call you won’t want to sleep through this spring.

The only Molly you’ll find at this “day club” is the Irish lass gyrating on the dance floor. Coffee and techno music are the strongest stimulants you’ll find.

“It’s about having an incredible experience to kick off your day, ” says Matthew Brimer, 27, who started the a.m. dance party with Radha Agrawal. “It’s all about the community and the people in the room.”

Hardened denizens of the city’s nightlife scene might cringe at the thought of showing up at 7 a.m. to dance with a sea of teetotaling strangers. But the appeal of Daybreaker is partying hard without self-destruction.

Marcus Santos/New York Daily News

Daily News reporter Jeanette Settembre hits the dance floor at the Gilded Lily club in the Meatpacking District for the morning dance party Daybreaker.

Blinded by flashing neon lights at the Gilded Lily club in the Meatpacking District, we were greeted with hugs, not drugs, upon entering. And at a party like this, there’s no juicing — except the O.J.

It seemed a little forced at first, but after tossing back our virgin libation, we were ready to hit the dance floor and quickly found, just as German Eurodance group Snap! once said, rhythm is, in fact, a dancer.

DJ David Heyerman dropped catchy house beats that had the crowd of 200 moving with the thumping bass.

“Usually when I DJ it’s 4 a.m. and everybody is f—ed up, ” says Heyerman. “But at Daybreaker, people are dancing harder than they would at night, and are more receptive to the music. I’m really impressed.”

I never thought I’d ever get out of bed this early for a dance party.

Suddenly, two costumed vegetables rushed the dance floor and started grinding on guests, accompanied by blaring trumpeters and a glowing jellyfish puppet. It was easily the high point (we were sober, we swear!).

Agrawal and Brimer are obviously onto something: People were plunking down $25 when they could have stayed at home in their PJs and cranked up their Calvin Harris dance playlist on Spotify. They’re paying for the feeling of being in a room of like-minded party people, all at the same level of intoxication (zero) and smiling.

It’s also much more fun — and just as sweaty — as a 45-minute Soul Cycle session.

“Why would you want to go on a treadmill when you can hit the dance floor?” says Vurbeff, who lives on the Lower East Side.

The party wound down as rush hour heated up. But before saying goodbye, the music stopped and partyers were asked to step forward for some “laughter yoga, ” spoken word poetry and a group reading of a poem about “the adventure of being alive.” No one sang “Kumbaya, ” but no one was complaining, either.

“I’d totally come again, ” says East Villager Sara Goodison, 23, who stopped by before work. “I definitely wouldn’t call it a rave, but I don’t think I’d enjoy a real one as much as this.”

The next Daybreaker is in June. Check for information and tickets.


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