Sober Nightclub Rocks Stockholm
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Sober Nightclub Rocks Stockholm


This post was originally published on October 9, 2014.

I have long complained that more bars should offer some kind of a non-alcoholic drink menu. There are few things more humiliating than telling the guy you are on a first date with what you would like to drink—then witnessing the awkwardness of him telling the bartender, “I’ll have a Jack and Coke and she’ll have a Shirley Temple.” While no one can argue that Sprite and grenadine doesn’t make a delicious beverage, especially when a couple of maraschino cherries are thrown in the mix, the name is cringe-worthy. And if you think you can outsmart a bartender by ordering a Sprite and grenadine, good luck; I have yet to not have one immediately say, “You mean a Shirley Temple?” Thanks, Mr. Rogers.

I get it—people who are out at bars and don’t drink are in the vast minority, especially since most drinkers don’t like to have teetotalers around anyway. But if law enforcement is cracking down on DUIs, which they have been for the last decade, then shouldn’t bars start doing their part to try and make not drinking fun? I get that it’d be tough for a bar to stay in business if they’re just serving Diet Cokes. But why punish designated drivers any more than they already have been by robbing them of a delicious beverage? It’s just not fair.

Swedish comedian Mårten Andersson agrees. After celebrating six months of sobriety, he got so fired up about sobriety that he decided to host a night called Sober at a Stockholm club, where locals gathered to enjoy an evening of good, clean DJs and dancing—complete with mocktails, faux beer and Sham-pagne sans any booze at all. In fact, when patrons arrived, they were greeted by breathalyzers, as being stone cold sober was a requirement for entry. And people actually came—nearly 900 of them, according to NPR.

For young and single sober people (like myself), this is like a Christmas freaking miracle. The idea that there could actually be a nightclub filled with people not drinking but having fun dancing with a delicious fruity mocktail in hand is beyond any of our wildest dreams. Most sober people have either attended or heard stories about sober dances and it’s just not something anyone wants to talk about. They are typically awful even though they are sometimes necessary—I mean what the hell else are we supposed to do on New Year’s Eve? A sober rave would be utterly amazing. The question is, could we pull it off?

In order for me to answer that question, I would need more information. First, how big of a comedian is Mårten Andersson? Because rallying over 800 people to do anything in a month’s time is pretty damn impressive. But if say, Russell Brand were to host the AfterPartyParty at Hyde, well, you can bet we’d have no problem filling the place (note to self: reach out to Russell Brand). Second, how big were these DJs? Because if we could get Calvin Harris or Girl Talk to come spin some records, we definitely don’t need to offer booze (as far as I know, there isn’t a breathalyzer for molly). Third, Americans are such posers that we would need some kind of weed-out-the-losers deterrent like maybe an S&M theme? I don’t know– I’m just spitballing here, guys.

My point is, Mårten Andersson is a trailblazer and I am 100% behind what he did with Sober. I hope it’s a concept that spreads to the United States and becomes more of a regular occurrence than a one-off special event. Sober people need something like this is their lives, something cool and hip to look forward to, a reason to wear those leather pants again. At the very least, we could use a fun drink menu.

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About Author

Danielle Stewart is a Los Angeles-based writer and recovering comedian. She has written for Showtime, E!, and MTV, as well as print publications such as Us Weekly and Life & Style Magazine. She returned to school and is currently working her way towards a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves coffee, Law & Order SVU, and her emotional support dog, Benson.