Excited patrons waiting in line. Bouncers inspecting handbags and pockets. The faint hum of electronic music. Sober has everything that a popular nightclub needs except for one crucial element: alcohol. Still, regardless of what many would consider a critical deficit, Sober continues to sell out each month, attracting everyone, from curious teenagers, recovering alcoholics, to those who simply want a short break from booze.
Although Sober is a completely alcohol-free nightclub, its message involves much more than just sobriety. Mårten Andersson, a Swedish comedian, came up with the idea for Sober after he recently gave up drinking, a move which he claims had made him feel better than ever. Keen on getting others to experience the positive benefits of a sober lifestyle, Andersson opened Sober.
Located in Stockholm, Sweden, a city where Andersson explained “people spend too much time getting hammered,” Sober continues to sell out every month. What makes Sober so intriguing and has 900 clubbers waiting in the Nordic cold every month to get in is that the message behind the club isn’t a drink-free life but a chance to give up alcohol and experience all those sensations you miss out on while drunk.
“We want to ultimately get people to drop their autopilot and take time and think about what you actually want out of life,” explained Andersson in his blog, referring to Sober as “a first step to inspire our fellow citizens to a more conscious life.”
Sober’s owners work hard to maintain the club’s clean image. Breathalyzers are required for each guest before admittance and specially trained staff also keep an eye out for guests who may have opted to take drugs instead. Despite all the special adjustment made to ensure a clean atmosphere, according to clubgoers, there’s not much to set Sober apart from your average booze-filled nightspot.
“Actually it's not that different, you get used to it,” explained one clubgoer to The Local. Others weren’t as impressed, "It's a bit dull," said one 20-year-old, explaining that without alcohol many guys turn shy. Can't win them all.