From Bloomberg Businessweek:
Anna Korsgren is excited about her lunch break. A blonde with dark eyes and hot pink lipstick, she works at a Stockholm brand communications agency called Dirty Butterfly, in a black-walled basement office. “I’ve always been a party girl,” she says. Luckily, she can now party—or at least dance—between client meetings and presentation slides, thanks to the monthly “Lunch Beat” events that have surged in popularity across Sweden. In the past few months, this daytime, hour-long nightclub has spread to a dozen cities in the rest of Europe, including Vienna, Hamburg, Amsterdam, and Manchester. The originators of Lunch Beat encourage those who hear about it online to launch their own franchises, and there are plans to export it to Houston, Los Angeles, and New York.
Photograph by Marcus Bleasdale for Bloomberg Businessweek
Setting up a Lunch Beat franchise in a new city is simple, according to Lunch Beat’s Stockholm organizer, Daniel Odelstad. All producers need to do is find a large space that’s unused in the middle of the day, set up a sound system, invite people, charge a nominal fee to cover costs—in Sweden, entrance runs 100 kroner, or about $13—and wait for them to dance. “It started in a garage around the corner two years ago,” the mustachioed Odelstad explains, “and it took nearly a year till we got a big attendance.”
At his last event, on a Tuesday in April, Odelstad was expecting a record number of attendees—as reflected in his choice of venue. The Kulturhuset is a Stockholm landmark, a cultural center that at one point played host to the country’s Parliament. The large glass and steel facade is sandwiched between the headquarters of SEB (SEBA), Scandinavia’s largest corporate bank, andSwedbank (SWEDA), a regional retail banking giant, in the heart of the city’s shopping and business center. On the ground floor, thick black curtains block out the daylight, and a couple dozen disco lights illuminate the room.
At one end of the stage, Petter Karlsson squats over his laptop, setting up a live video stream to a sister Lunch Beat event in Malmö, 400 miles south. He’s concerned he’ll be too busy with the streaming software to dance himself, but since the streaming will be free-to-view, there is some consolation in knowing that his efforts will mean “anybody else in the world can dance along.”
Submitted by Paul Hurder
(via Bloomberg Businessweek)