Raving about their lunchtimes

How the Swedish practice of getting down at midday is heading down to Copenhagen

May 11th, 2012 3:12 pm| by admin

While the French take two hours out of their workday to have a warm meal with their colleagues, Danes usually spend just half an hour in the company’s cafeteria, chomping on their sandwiches. But all might be about to change if they copy Sweden, where a whole other vibe is going on. Workers in around a dozen Swedish cities spend their one-hour lunch breaks dancing at ‘Lunch Beat’, and now the trend is heading for Copenhagen, with the first ever event scheduled for May 31 at The Lot on Pilestræde.

The first ever Lunch Beat was held two years ago in an underground parking lot in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Even though only 14 people showed up, they had so much fun they immediately planned another event.

The basic idea behind Lunch Beat is that workers can hit the dancefloor to let off steam in between sessions at their desks. The founders, who describe it as "your week's most important business lunch", have clearly been inspired by the underground nature of the eponymous characters in the film ‘Fight Club’. For example, the first rule of their manifesto is: "You don’t talk about your job at Lunch Beat”. Other rules stipulate that the discos must be non-profit events, feature hour-long DJ sets, take place at lunchtime, and include a takeaway meal.

On the other side of the Øresund Bridge, Malmö’s deputy mayor, Lari Pitkä-Kangas, has seen a positive change in his employees' afternoons. “Employees seem more relaxed than usual, so I think it's quite good for them,” he told BBC News. “It's common sense that if you are happy, you are working better.”

Lunch Beat events can be arranged by anyone anywhere in the world, as long as the organisers respect the founders' manifesto – although it is unclear how much legal control the organisers actually have over this.

The Copenhagen event will be live-streamed to 15 other cities around the globe, including Stockholm, Berlin, Helsinki and Amsterdam, where other hungry, happy and hip-hopping hedonists will be eating lunch while performing their best dance moves.

Buy tickets at: www.billetto.dk/lunchbeatcph. Bear in mind that there is no alcohol on sale at the event – but if even the reserved Swedes can dance while they’re sober, the Danes can too.

(all photos: Daniela de Lorenzo)
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