Beginning to WONDER

A festival day like no other took place on Saturday 21st July 2018 at The Missing Sock. Event organisers, Lisa Sibley Pollitt and Suzie Young put together a festival-style yet alcohol-free event which they describe as being ‘for everyone’. Lisa said “We’re not teetotallers but we’ve been increasingly experimenting with abstaining from alcohol in recent years, but we began to wonder whether it might be more fun if we partied in a space where no-one’s drinking. Sober socials, as they’re known, are more common in places like LA, and we discovered places in London are beginning to pop up, so we thought we’d test the water here. The really funny thing is that tonight was our first ever WONDER but it was actually also the first sober social we’ve ever been to and it really has blown our minds how brilliant they can be!” Suzie agreed; “I’m totally buzzing, the atmosphere tonight has been electric. We’ve had a day of joyful activities where everyone has built a sense of connection and shared ideas and then quite frankly it has culminated into the best party I’ve ever been to! Everyone has been dancing and laughing. We’re particularly chuffed to see that we’ve got a really diverse crowd of nearly a hundred people, as young as 17 and as old as 74, and some people travelled from places further afield, including Norwich and Croydon!”The Workshops;

  • Kundalini Yoga and Gong Bath with Lizzie Cutmore

  • Happy Yoga with Jo Darking, owner & founder of Satyam Yoga Centre

  • ‘Know your neurochemicals’ interactive chat and ideas exploration with Suzie Young

  • Conscious Dance workshop with Lisa Sibley Pollitt.

The day of activities really worked up everyone’s appetite and it was gratifying for everyone to enjoy the same specially developed ‘Wonder Dish’ (Thai 'chicken' with sriracha mayo, nahm doc and black rice) from Jay Scrimshaw’s MEATLESS Streetfood van.

While everyone was eating their scrumptious dinner, and as the sun began to set, Cambridge band Mad Mary gave everyone a veritable feast for the ears. One festival-goer said “the band really matched the mood - really mellow and lovely after a blissful afternoon of yoga and a gong bath”. This multi-instrumentalist band whose members are from Ireland, Peru and Spain performed their exquisite fusion of folk and pop-rock together with hypnotising melodies influenced by their homelands, it really had a refreshing new harmonic style. An up and coming band, Mad Mary released their first music video last month (filmed in Cambridge) - ) for their song, Yellow World. Band member Richard Lynch said “That’s the first gig we´ve ever played in an alcohol-free environment and we thought it was great. The mellow vibes of the day and its activities chilled us out and I think this was reflected in our performance. We can’t wait to play at the next WONDER!”.

Mad Mary During the day festival-goers had the chance to better understand how their happy neurochemicals (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphin) work and by the end of the night pretty much everyone had been rewarded with specially made badges. The Missing Sock was a really beautiful setting for this special event and the fantastic weather made it possible to make great use of its quirky and festive outside space. MissMercal performed her specially written rap about addiction while everyone sipped great alcohol-free drinks including ChaKombucha’s Raspberry & Mint Water Kefir and Roxa’s freshly made mocktails. The alfresco party continued with a great collection of tunes from DJs MissChivers, Luna Love (aka our very own Lisa Sibley Pollitt!) and a big finale from Paul Darking who’s well-known in Cambridge as one of the founders & resident DJs of the legendary clubnight Good Times. He played an awesome set which kept everyone dancing right to the very end.

WONDER has been designed to help trigger a shift in culture and maybe it will achieve just that. By the sound of the feedback from those that attended, they’re keen to find out when the next one is. Lisa and Suzie have said that this is definitely just the beginning and plans are already in the pipeline for the next one. They recommend you follow their WONDER Festival facebook page or subscribe to the mailing list on this site to be kept informed of details of the next event. Instead of alcohol as the common denominator or central pivot point, this event revolves around good feelings. The vision is for future generations of adults to feel like they have a choice, that there are places to go to have an awesome time, but without the assumption that alcohol has to be involved. The benefits to health, wellbeing and finances are huge.

*** Some feedback from festival-goers;

“Things I liked? The vibe, the yoga, the music, the food, EVERYTHING!”

“What a wonder to be at WONDER! a space to play, celebrate, discover and elevate!”

“My friends and I had an amazing time at the first ever Wonder! From the workshops, to music, to food, and such a cool venue, and people! Can't wait for the next one, Thank you”

“For shiny, happy, awake people”

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