What do your typical plans on a weekend? For many, in a country admittedly robust in alcohol consumption, the idea of the Largest Sober Dance Festival – Xstatic Wonderland might lack in appeal. But instead of liquor, think creativity, inclusion and... yoga trance drum group magic and maybe even some bubbles, of the soapy kind.
The theme of a ‘Wonderland’ has instant and timeless appeal.
“As we have all been down the rabbit hole through COVID, we are creating a Wonderland for people to escape the real world and let loose to dance, dress up and reconnect,” said Xstatic Sunsets founder Jasper Vallance, a veteran party organiser involved with Burning Man.
“Over this COVID time, we have all been bombarded with information about the mental health costs of isolation and an uptake in alcohol consumption. Though started before the pandemic, Xstatic Sunsets, a registered non-profit, seeks to bring sober fun through dance, creativity and individualism,” said Vallance. All profits go to partnering with schools and other institutions to foster creative sober events.
A few years ago, Vallance realised there was more to partying than intoxication. After a sober dance party event, participants “can enjoy feeling great for days” he says. “There just hasn’t been a space until now to really experience and enjoy this as an option. At our events you simply get lots in the experience and the costuming really helps break the ice and breaks down the fear of judgement.”
In addition to the dance and other entertainment across two stages, the Wonderland event includes a tea party, where guests can build their own or have it provided by the organisers.
Planned for April 30 at Belmore Park (delayed numerous times due to COVID and weather), “Xstatic Wonderland” promises to be an unusual and memorable event. Participants are encouraged to dress up as characters from Alice in Wonderland, with Vallance as MC Mad Hatter.
Apr 30. Belmore Park. $79-$209+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.events.humanitix.com