Shake Awake Bristol - A Rave Review

Shake Awake Bristol - A Rave Review

Did you ever read that Guardian article where they sent Charlie Brooker to the Glastonbury Festival? Or the episode of Louis Theroux when he tries to be a rapper? Well, it was with this sort of inquisitive mind and irreverently raised eyebrow that I decided to accept an invitation to Shake Awake, who are bringing morning workout raves to the sleepy folk of Bristol.

12236525_10100150510036344_1955397669_o (1)The rave runs from 6am to 9am and you can arrive at any time, but in the interest of journalistic integrity (the only time you will ever see me use those words) I had to get up at 5am, which for someone who has timed their morning routine to the minute in order to be able to sleep in as late as possible, was more than slightly distressing.

We arrived at The Anson Rooms for 6am, and unbelievably there was already a queue, mainly of students - and contrary to my expectations, none of them were drunk! In fact, none of them looked like they had pulled all-nighters, and they’d even gone to the effort of wearing proper fitness gear.

It was at this point I was a bit concerned that my rave getup and wry attitude wasn’t going to fit in here.

I got doused in glitter, signed up for a head massage and made my way inside.

First of all - yoga mats and head massages? This was the most civilised rave I’d ever seen, although I didn’t see how massages and chanting was going to do much in the way of waking me up.

With that in mind, I made my way to the dance floor.


Even at 6am, the vibe was already fairly lively, with energetic DJs, snazzy lights and a live band. Luckily I’m a girl who can’t resist a good sax solo at the best of times, so this was when my optimism perked up a bit.

My interest was piqued further when I noticed the food and drink stalls to the side of the dance floor - you could buy some energising smoothies (I went for the green one with spinach, apple and ginger) for £3 or snack on handmade truffles & flapjacks.

Sure, I’m more partial to buttery toast or Weetabix of a morning, but I was in the spirit of things now, and what better way to prepare for throwing some serious shapes at dawn than a glass of pureed superfoods?

Breakfast done, I decided to wait until the dance floor was a bit busier before I wowed everyone with my moves and instead went to do my first ever bit of yoga.

Again I felt a bit out of my depth here, but that’s probably due to my sheer ignorance when it comes to yoga, which is apparently made all the more challenging when you can’t hear the instructor over the noise of the bass being thrown down in the next room.

I persevered - I mumbled a few chants, did a few stretches, then ran away before it got a bit too awkward (NB. don’t wear a short skirt to yoga). Everyone else seemed to be enjoying themselves though, which is the main thing.

Next I went for a soothing head massage, which along with the yoga was part of the ticket price for the event - nice!

Full marks for my massage, although it did make me quite light-headed and sleepy afterwards. Time for a dance!


It was around this time that my alarm went off, to remind me that the Sliding Doors version of myself was still tucked up in her warm bed, hitting snooze and ignoring the cries of the cat. We took to the dance floor and threw ourselves around for a bit - the place had really filled up by now and everyone was going for it like it was 1am rather than 8am. We even saw our first dishevelled students who’d obviously arrived straight from a night out, hurrah! Not long after we decided to wash off our glitter, put on our smart clothes and depart into the crisp early morning for work.

Overall, I had a good if curious time at Shake Awake - I don’t think it’s really meant for people like me* but there were enough things going on and the organisers were ridiculously enthusiastic throughout. The truffles were also top notch.

If you can get yourself up at 5am and want to experience a thoroughly different and fun way of waking up, I’d recommend it  - just make sure you prepare yourself for wanting to nap at your desk later that day.


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