• Sweden's news in English
Inside Stockholm's new 'no alcohol' nightclub
Around 900 people turned up for the launch. Photo: Södra Theatre

Inside Stockholm's new 'no alcohol' nightclub

Maddy Savage · 27 Sep 2014, 12:44

Published: 27 Sep 2014 08:44 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Sep 2014 12:44 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Champagne ice buckets lined the bar, while hipster staff shook brightly-coloured cocktails above their heads. One worker was sipping a beer at the same time. But there was no chance of getting in trouble for drinking on duty. All beverages were non-alcoholic.

Outside, excited clubbers queued patiently along the cobbled street, before being ordered to blow into a breathalyser to check that they hadn't been on the booze earlier in the evening. Specially trained staff also kept an eye out for people who might have taken drugs instead. Only a few ticketholders got turned away from the event, which sold out weeks in advance. 
Once safely indoors, guests moved between a room offering house and techno from US Grammy and BRIT Award nominated Zoo Brazil, to another playing commercial classics from Snap's 90's anthem Rhythm is a Dancer, to Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees.

All guests had to prove they hadn't already been drinking

By 11pm, the venue was rammed, with few seeing the need for a traditional pre-club gathering at home or in a bar if the aim of the night wasn't to get tipsy.

"Things have definitely got going earlier than I expected, " said one clubber.

He told The Local he had picked the venue for his Friday night out so he wasn't hungover at a friend's 40th birthday party on Saturday.

But how did he feel making shapes on the dancefloor without alcohol in his hand?

"Actually it's not that different, you get used to it," he added.

Read The Local's interview with the man behind Sober

The crowd was much more diverse than you get at most European club nights, with curious teenagers joining former alcoholics in their fifties, clean-living yogis and breastfeeding mothers in their thirties.

For some of Stockholm's increasingly multiethnic population, this was their first time clubbing.

"I never drink alcohol. I am a Muslim and I can't usually go anywhere like this, but I heard about this new club and I talked to my wife and we decided to try," said Faisal Mohammed.

"I like what I see," he told The Local.

Clubbers in the techno room at 10.15pm

Not everyone was enjoying themselves though, with some clubbers complaining that they felt less confident on the dancefloor, without an alcoholic drink.

"It's a bit dull," moaned 20-year-old Hampus.

"People don't usually dance when they are sober, so it is like an awkward social experiment," added his friend Maximillian, who admitted that he hadn't chatted up any girls so far.

"A lot of guys here in Sweden are kind of shy when they are not drinking," confirmed Hampus.

He said he had no plans to return to the club, which is set to become a monthly event in the Swedish capital.

Story continues below…

Hampus (left) and Maximillian, both 20, weren't sure if they would come back to the next booze-free event

But organiser Mårten Andersson told The Local he felt that many Swedes were "fed up" with the country's reputation for drinking and said he already had plans to take his clubbing concept to other Swedish and European cities.

"Yes there are some Swedes who are just getting more and more hammered at weekends, but there is also a second group of people who care about their health, who go to the gym and who think about what they eat. So to think about the way we drink is kind of natural to those people."

"I am not saying stop drinking, I am just saying maybe you don't have to drink every time you go out," he said.

"If you look inside, you can see there are a lot of people who agree".

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Maddy Savage (maddy.savage@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available