About 70 Nelson Mandela Bay residents enjoyed a groovy Secret Sunrise in Happy Valley yesterday.
True to the quirky underground ethos of the homegrown movement that is taking the country by storm, the venue was kept secret until the last minute.
Secret Sunrise is a new urban craze that sees a group of people gather outdoors in the morning to express themselves while listening to music played through headphones.
Secret Sunrise founder Sebastian Davies, who was schooled at St Andrew’s in Grahamstown, and Andre “Honeybear” de Villiers welcomed residents beneath the palm trees and doled out branded headphones.
Then, at 6am, as the sun cast its first rays over the Humewood bridge, Davies brought the crowd together with a few wise words about connecting and being yourself.
Everyone has the same song mix playing but, with headphones, you feel as though you are enjoying your own personal concert.
It is a strangely liberating feeling – like you are in a separate but parallel universe shielded from judgmental scrutiny.
After some simple choreography, dancers were urged to leap, whirl, skip and “run like prairie dogs”.
The participants lassoed total strangers and put their hands on each others’ hearts and, in between, were given time to find themselves.
After travelling overseas for eight years, Davies launched social enterprise No Danger Diaries in Cape Town on the premise that “we’re not scared to have fun and make a difference”, and Secret Sunrise was a spin-off from that.
But Secret Sunrise was now a separate entity and growing by leaps and bounds, Davies said.
Bay artist and architect Theresa Hardman, who participated in the Humewood Beach Secret Sunrise, said she had loved the event.
“It was uplifting, life-affirming, authentic and wakened the child in me. I think everyone loved it.”
Check the Secret Sunrise Facebook page for the next visit to the city.