Time To Wake Up And Rave – An Interview w/ Annie Fabricant and Harry Inglis of Morning Gloryville

*written by A’Damaged Pro for Electronica Life
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Unless you live in the rarified air at the top of the “layer cake,” most of the world has to go to work. Regardless if it’s to support: family, vices, travel, or just the basic needs to sustain life, the fact that most goods and services have a cost, is inescapable. Anyone with student loans or a mortgage can definitely attest to that last part.  A powerful tool and coping mechanism is directly bred out of recognition of this product-to-price connection. For the sake of providing a standardized baseline, despite the factors of subjective logistics and temporality, we shall dub this tool “The Morning Ritual.” Some go to the gym. Some drink coffee while they read the morning paper. Some sit outside and watch the sun rise. The point is that most require some preparatory process to prepare them for the rigors of the workday. If everybody was always happily bouncing to a job that they love, phrases like, “I’ve got a case of the Monday’s,” would have never been coined. Even if you love your job and the commute, if applicable, is manageable, even you might need a little something to shake the cobwebs free to get you ready. Enter the power of the beat, in an open, community-styled atmosphere, but with a unique little twist. The premise behind the Morning Gloryville concept, which originated in London, is quite refreshing and remarkably simple to grasp…an early morning electronic dance party, with entertainment and amenities galore, to help invigorate the mind and the body before you have to go to work. I was lucky enough to speak with MGV Ambassadors, Annie Fabricant and Harry Inglis, that were instrumental in bringing this innovative concept stateside.

A’Damaged Pro – How did you get introduced to the scene? Where did you grow up?

Annie – I was born and raised in London. I moved to New York about three years ago. I go back to London every December for Christmas holidays. That’s when I discovered Morning Gloryville. I was invited by a friend. The whole concept was conceived there and the inaugural event was hosted there in May of 2013. Basically, two friends wanted to calm down their partying habits. It was one day following a big bender that they thought, “this isn’t sustainable… How can we revolutionize the fun…?! (and get your music fix at the same time)

It started as a safe haven for ex-ravers and those from all walks of life that had been in the festival scene and welcomed the chance to recreate healthily and break up their working week, and grew organically into a movement. This is great for people working in the city. Shake off the stress and inhibitions, infuse some wholesome fun into their lives, get them into their bodies and relax their minds. I think in the beginning some people thought it was a trend or a fad and it’s showing that it’s actually quite sustainable.

A’Damaged Pro – When did you get introduced to this scene?

Harry – I moved to New York in Mar/April of last year. It was right around whenever they hosted the first MGV in London. I’ve always been passionate with my dance music.

A’Damaged Pro – Favorite artists? The UK is a global powerhouse after all.

Harry – It’s quite amazing. Living in New York we get amazing DJs that are coming through to play all the time. I didn’t really realize how big of a part of UK culture dance music was until I lived other places. It’s not uncommon for a #1 track, on our equivalent of the Billboard charts, to be, like, a deep house track. You wouldn’t think anything of it. You’ll hear it all day everyday on the radio. Kids will know the lyrics but they won’t think of it as a “house” tune, but it’ll just be a big song. It’s when you step away that you notice these things.

A’Damaged Pro – Domestically, we’re too eager for compartmentalization and genre distinction. It’s not for “purity’s” sake, but just for making another list that someone can top.

Harry – In my travels, I’ve discovered that when you go to another city or a new country, all you have to do is explore the local EDM scene and you will find good people because it’s an instant bond. Some of my friends told me that I needed to check out this “morning party” that started in London. It’s a completely sober time before work.

A’Damaged Pro – What was your role in bringing the MGV concept to New York?

Harry – When I saw this, I phoned them up and talked to Samantha. I told her that if they are bringing it to the states, I would love to be involved, in any capacity. I went back to London in December of 2013 and we had a meeting. They put me in contact with Annie, who had also reached out to them. Me and Annie met up and we got together and got it going. It wasn’t that simple. Before things got going Sam made sure that we had the right mindset and the right ethos to lead this project. In terms of the “franchise” tag, there is definitely a process to make sure that the right people are getting involved with each new location. We try and put everybody at ease. We realize that people aren’t quite awake when these events start but a little silliness and the greeting seems to help people warm up to the experience. People come for a variety of reasons. Some are there for the music. Some come for the openness and the sense of communion. Some of the artists that we’ve had DJ have offered their services for a fraction of their normal fee because they simply fell in love with the concept. It’s pretty powerful.
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A’Damaged Pro – From what I’ve read, it’s catching on…

Annie – Morning Gloryville has actually launched in a dozen cities. New York was the first international outpost. A franchise model had expanded including: New York (of course), Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Zurich, Dublin, West London, Brighton, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Sydney. Bangalore is set to launch at the beginning of September. Expansion has also been initiated in Melbourne, Berlin, and Vancouver. Hundreds of people getting in touch from around the world about the expanding the concept and the beauty behind it is truly a humbling experience.

A’Damaged Pro – What’s the origin of the name? Was it coined in a sublimated haze?

Annie – It was originally Morning Glory. Obviously, it’s in the morning and it’s going to be empowering and there’s the cheeky expression playing on “Morning Glory.” The “ville” had to be added because of trademarking reasons..

A’Damaged Pro – I think the “ville” denotes the community aspect that you guys are going for as well.

Annie – Exactly. Considering it’s become a global phenomenon it adds to the identity of the event.

A’Damaged Pro – You mentioned that the locations outside of the London home base are tagged as “franchises.” Is there a central set of guidelines that each of these use to govern themselves in order to fly under the Morning Gloryville flag?

Annie – Yes. Everything is written in a sort of fun, creative way. Each new franchise is provided with the “Glory Code & Guide” Every event producer, or “Glory Agent” as they are called, must go through the training that is made available for them, which we ensure covers all aspects of managing these events.

There is a large team involved in each event with the core focus being that everyone who comes to the event feels welcome, comfortable, and celebrated. I mean, the attendees are sober, it’s in the morning, and most people hate mornings. So, there’s a very carefully selected team of people designated to greet and welcome guests as they come in the door so they feel at ease when they walk into the space. I was reminded by the London Central Team that the focus should not be on the DJs (securing top-tier talent). The music is very important and integral to the experience but it isn’t about big names. It’s about the overall experience. We have a wide array of talent that comes to entertain the guests. We don’t want a stage with performers and no one participating. We want everyone to get up on the stage and participate.

A’Damaged Pro – Is it possible to get some insight into the “Glory Code” or is it, like, a trademarked secret?

Annie – Yeah, that actually is confidential, but it essentially outlines Morning Gloryville’s principles, ethos and vision. There are some powerful quotes in there too. Morning Gloryville HQ also emphasize that they are there 24/7 not just to provide professional support, but emotional support too. There is a familial atmosphere for sure.

A’Damaged Pro – Given that people have trouble with the morning time? Are these on Mondays?

Annie – No. Ha. These events are on Wednesdays.

A’Damaged Pro – Ah. Gotcha. Give em something to look forward to so the rest of the week coasts.

Annie – I mean it’s called “Hump Day,” right? Having it on Wednesdays also rules out it being viewed as an after-party. (Touché.)

A’Damaged Pro – Harry, do you have trouble getting up in the morning?

Harry I’m actually ok with it. Well, I go through cycles. If it’s something exciting I can definitely do it. I’m not an actual morning person. Just being in New York, I thought that there had to be something like that in New York. This is where a lot of aspects of dance music have their roots. It’s very much in the city’s DNA and people are always looking for a new fitness trend, so I figured that it would make so much sense to have something like that here. I work in marketing and I noticed that a lot of my friends were dropping out of the dance scene. Some were getting married, having kids, whatever. It just seemed impossible to keep up with the weekend lifestyle.

A’Damaged Pro – Are these all-ages events?

Annie – Very much so. Everyone is welcome. That’s a key pillar of MGV. Everyone, regardless of age, gender, and demographic, is welcome. It helps create an atmosphere and attitude of non-judgment and acceptance.

A’Damaged Pro – Kind of unity without the addition of chemistry?

Annie – Yeah. Completely safe and open. Our vibe is inclusive. In New York right now we’re getting over 300 people through the door, but this will grow when we secure our permanent, and very large, venue. The London events have 800 people attend each month. That’s a lot of people getting up early in the morning to make an event before they have to go to work.

Harry – Now, we sell out each time. The tickets sell out weeks in advance.

A’Damaged Pro – You can’t get that many people together for a company picnic. That’s really respectable.

Harry – It’s become like a club. Some kids have used it to identify and form a bond with others that are part of the community. It requires some effort and dedication because if it starts at 6am you have to be leaving wherever you’re coming from at around 5am to make it in time. It’s reminiscent of going on holiday when you have to get up extra early for the adventure you’re about to go on. Something new and exciting.

A’Damaged Pro – Since it’s a drug-free and alcohol-free environment, do you have to have medical personnel?

Annie – Not as such; we take out event insurance for each event. Our July bRave was at a location called the Brooklyn Zoo. It had an Olympic-standard trampoline built into the floor, so it was an absolute jungle of fun for adults, though we did have some kids there as well. There were people swinging off of ropes, like monkeys, into foam pits. We had everybody sign a waiver before they enter. We do recommend that everyone warm up on the dance floor before trying any aerial-type activity.

A’Damaged Pro – What excites you most about being a part of MGV and where do you see it going?

Annie – I feel very inspired and blessed. This is actually everything I believe in and I represent a lot of the core groups that attend. I can consider myself an ex-raver. I’m definitely into my house music. I am fascinated with holistic health and various mind/body healing modalities. Over the last year, I’ve become very subtly spiritual. Not in a crazy hippie way but believing in more subtle energetic happenings.. So when I see the magical, positive energy that spreads through the MGV events, it’s pretty amazing. I could chalk that up to quantum physics and how we’re all made of energy. I’m also very excited about the feedback that we’ve been getting. Sometimes, people want to hang on the phone for hours just to talk about the experience they’ve had. I see the potential, definitely, for it to grow into its own inclusive lifestyle brand. Business-aspect aside, I can see the community growing as people are inspired by what they experience at MGV, and that subtle inner shift infuses into their day-to-day lives. As our cities become more and more tech-saturated, and people become increasingly stimulus addicted, there arises a growing desire for meaning and fulfillment; a desire to unplug, and to engage in human experiences. That’s where MGV comes in…!

A’Damaged Pro – With every successful business-model, it goes with the territory that people will try to emulate, whether it be out of respect or to jump into the industry. What does the MGV team plan to do in order to remain distinct and unique?

Annie – We’re not worried about other similar concepts being created. Take “Daybreaker,” for example, in San Francisco. They are another morning-time event. We believe that we will end up feeding off each other and other events will actually help spark the overall movement that we are trying to achieve. We would like to be friends with them and possible collaborate with them in the future. We feel that there are enough MGV-specific elements within our program that keeps us distinct. We’re all about authenticity being unleashed!!!

A’Damaged Pro’s final words…

The popularity of Morning Gloryville is growing and people appear very receptive to using music and dancing to start their day off properly. Seeing the geographic and demographic diversity of the proposed expansion locations proves that the power of music and positivity transcend cultural and socio-political differences. These are more than just isolated events because the effects of them resonate. People are able to take a little piece of it with them and if and when somebody feels subjectively incomplete, MGV and its “Glory Agents” delight in adding something to them out of the sheer spirit of “I would like to see you happy.” Upon receiving this complementary gift, their attitude will adapt and bring this newfound positivity into the world. The ultimate beauty and simplicity of this structure is that there is no limit to what can be accomplished by people, united in music and community, growing towards a more positive reality.

Connect with Morning Gloryville: Website | NYC Facebook |  NYC Twitter