Party4Health's summer bike rave is good, old-fashioned sober fun

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      For most, the day after a night of partying is spent groaning softly into a homemade caesar with a bottle of Advil sitting on the table. Then there’s the guilt. The inevitable, crushing guilt.

      Advocating—contrary to popular belief—that it’s perfectly possible to enjoy yourself without alcohol, Jacques Martiquet founded Party4Health, an event company dedicated to creating experiences so engaging and interactive that attendees don’t feel the need to hit the bottle. Or wake up with a hangover.

      “I chose the name Party4Health because it can seem like an oxymoron,” Martiquet says. “For a lot of people, staying out late is a vice, but what I’ve realized from the events I’ve been involved in is that taking part in pop-up activities like SkyTrain parties or urban dance nights can really contribute to people’s social and physical well-being—and being sober saves a lot of money, too. We’re all about getting a bunch of fun-loving individuals together, facilitating their interactions, and creating a wild shared experience that breaks down inhibitions and encourages everyone to communicate.”

      Next on Party4Health’s program is a Vancouver staple: the bike rave. Running as part of the Velopalooza festival, the event is the second cycling night that the collective has organized, and it has all the makings of a colourful and high-energy evening. With attendees illuminating their bikes with glowsticks, neon inner tubes, and fairy lights, the group will rally cyclists at dusk for an urban adventure along the city’s numerous bike paths.

      Rather than following the typical format of Vancouver bike raves, Party4Health has put its own twist on the event.

      “For this cycle, the music will certainly be different,” Martiquet says. “Usually, the night would be soundtracked by downtempo, repetitive tracks. Instead, we’ve picked upbeat ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s classics, and we’re going to drag around two giant speakers on a chariot. I choose the music so that it communicates with the audience, and people can get pumped up with choruses like ‘I’m so excited.’ We went that direction for our April bike rave, and we ended up having a giant impromptu dance party on the Jericho Sailing Centre pier. It was magical.

      “The route is also different,” he continues. “I can’t disclose it yet because we’re still in the process of finalizing it, but most of the Vancouver bike raves take the same course—and it’s the seawall every time. We want to tap into the unique, interactive environments that we have in the city, which we can safely use while respecting residential neighbourhoods.”

      Respect is an important concept for Martiquet, who bases his mission on pleasing the community. Set to control the bike rave by limiting participants to 300, not publicizing the starting location until the day of the event, and using MCs to modulate the flow of energy during the jaunt, the organizer places safety and enjoyment at the forefront of both the cycle event and his ethos for Party4Health.

      “Our overall aim for the company is to shift party culture and show that—in the midst of this crazy opioid crisis—you don’t need to alter your consciousness to have a great time,” Martiquet says. “We think that’s a pretty good message.”

      The bike rave is on Saturday (June 10), with the route to be announced online.

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