When it comes to lunch breaks, the French like to take two hours out of their workday to savor their food in the company of colleagues. Americans prefer dining solo in front of their computers. Well, in Sweden there is a whole other vibe going. Here, more and more workers are forgoing both leisurely lunches and "al-desko" dining in favor of daytime raves.
It started in the fall of 2010 when 14 friends decided to dance their lunch breaks away in their office garage. They called their gathering "Lunch Beat." As rumors about this underground movement spread, more and more people joined in.
Today, Lunch Beat events are being arranged by a core group of organizers at venues around Sweden, attracting up to 600 people each time, and copycat clubs are popping up across Europe.
Lunch Beat events can be arranged by any individual, group or company anywhere in the world as long as the organizers respect the founders' Manifesto, a list of 10 rules specifying, for instance, that Lunch Beat discos must be nonprofit events, take place at lunch time, be drug-free, and include a take-out meal.
In 2011, the Swedish Language Council officially recognized “lunch disco” as a new word.
The basic idea behind Lunch Beat is that workers take an hour out in the middle of the day to let loose in the company of fellow dance-enthusiasts. The founders have dubbed it "your week's most important business lunch" and say that they want to create a sense of community among participants. However, the discos are not meant to be crass networking opportunities. After all, the fourth rule of the manifesto is "You don’t talk about your job at Lunch Beat." Instead, the aim is to embody "playfulness, participation and community," the organizers write.
To find out how to get ‘lunch beat’ started in your area, contact Molly Ränge, the founder, at firstname.lastname@example.org