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10 May 2012

Strictly business: Swedish “lunch beat“

It's a new craze.

By New Statesman

…and the fourth rule of lunch beat is: “You don’t talk about your job at Lunch Beat.”  Swedes have started dancing at lunch, offices turning up at discos to bop, with (Swedish) precision, between the hours of 12 and 1. The new craze is dubbed “your week’s most important business lunch”, but it’s strictly not for networking. Instead, the founders say, the session is for the purposes of “playfulness, participation and community,” so that workers return to their desks energised and more productive. These wholesome raves have proved a hit, and in 2011, “lunch disco” was adopted as a word by the Swedish Language Council.

According to Slate:

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 literally 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.

Lunchbeat sessions are now being held in Serbia, Finland, Germany, Portugal and the UK. The raves are sober – only soft drinks are available, and are said to be particularly popular with ex-ravers who now have kids, can’t go out at weekends, and work in middle management.

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