The LA-born movement hosts its first UK event this Thursday

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Are you one of the growing number of ‘ sober curious’ adults  in the UK? Or perhaps you’re teetotal altogether - sobriety is, according to official figures, a trend among millennials; but what does that mean for your social life?

That was the dilemma the aptly-named The Shine  founder, Light Watkins found himself in when he gave up drinking 18 years ago. Living in LA, his alcohol avoidance eventually meant he simply stopped going out (nothing kills a vibe faster than friends constantly egging you on to just have a glass) and so he sought to create a new social scene.

“After many years of avoiding bar and lounge scenes, I decided to create a social experience that would essentially become the opposite of watching the news,” explains Light. “Nowadays, if you watch the traditional news for five minutes, it will make you depressed about the current state of the world, and that may drive someone to want to numb themselves with more alcohol. But what if there was an analogue experience that left everyone feeling inspired? Not in a hokey, kumbaya-positive-thought-way. But in a real, authentic, vulnerable way—where people come together as themselves to enjoy content that makes them feel uplifted, where they make meaningful connections sans alcohol, where they weren't being sold something they didn't need, and where they leave feeling better about themselves and the world than they felt going in?”

An event for non-hippies to come together and socialise under the influence of inspiration.

Light couldn’t find anything like it in New York or LA (‘without having to take your shoes off - and I didn’t want to keep removing my shoes’), which is why The Shine was born. “An event for non-hippies to come together and socialise under the influence of inspiration.”

With a now cult-like status in LA and New York, the alcohol-free events pop up several times a year in each of the cities, having been dubbed the ‘happy hour without the booze’ by the press. Of course, it was only natural that London would be their next port of call, and who better to host than The London Meditation Centre’s founders (and GTG columnist ) Jillian Lavender and Michael Miller?

“In the work we do as Vedic Meditation teachers, we witness our students become more aware, more conscious and as a result they start making different choices,” comments Jillian. “Creating a space for connection and inspiration is both an obvious extension of the work we’re already doing and it also extends well beyond our direct community.”

London’s first Shine movement will involve live music, grounding meditation courtesy of London Meditation Centre, inspirational storytelling including CEO of Positive Luxury Diana Verde Nieto, healthy food and thoughtful conversation - an alcohol-free space in which to connect with a diverse audience of like-minded people.

“In London there seems to be a growing shift towards making more sustainable choices and yet very few places that people can go to share and give back at a local level,” continues Jillian. “We’ve watched Light create this remarkable movement in the States, and we felt if we could provide a place for people to come together with The Shine London, people would love it.”

The Shine London event will be on 12th October at 42 Acres, Shoreditch, with more planned for early 2018. Check the website for future events. Want to host an event? Find out more at