Take a Lunch Break with Questlove
From the time people show up for Flavorpill’s “Lunch Break” events, until the time they walk out of the door, they are usually dancing, said Sascha Lewis, CEO & Cofounder of the online culture guide that sponsors the soirées.
“It’s a dance party in the middle of the day. It’s disruptive in nature. It’s literally a mid-day, during the week, dance party,” he said.
At the inaugural event last month, co-sponsored by Absolut vodka, famed-DJ Jazzy Jeff—known for his decades-long run as a producer backing rapper-turned-actor Will Smith—was behind the decks, and hundreds of people turned out to take a little time off from work, and listen to music.
Next week, it’s The Roots’ drummer Questlove’s turn to spin the ones and twos for attendees stepping away from the desk for the hour-long break, which offers free admission and a drink to anyone that shows up. “If you didn’t know it, you’d think you were at a club in the middle of the night, or on a Saturday,” said Lewis. “As soon as the hour is up, the music stops, the lights go on, and everyone is going back to the office.”
Flavorpill’s Lunch Break series was first introduced in the summer of 2012, in New York City, but has since expanded, hitting major cities across the country, including San Francisco, Chicago, and of course, Boston.
The hour-long breaks are a way to offer an alternative option to the mundane ritual of snagging the same meal at a local establishment, or schlepping back to a desk only to work while simultaneously trying to eat during a day at the office.
Aside from the free drink and admission, Flavorpill adds a charity-aspect to the hour-long event. Attendees can give back by making a donation at the door, with proceeds benefiting the state’s food bank. “We do that in all the cities where we host events. We are close to raising $10,000 in all of our markets. It’s nice to balance it out,” Lewis said, adding that everyone that shows up is given a bagged lunch and peanut butter and jelly sandwich before leaving.
He said the initial rollout went so well in Boston recently, that artists like Questlove jumped at the opportunity to come to the city, despite a packed schedule that includes trips between Chicago and New York City, to tape segments for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. “We stalked Quest for awhile about playing it. He is a busy, busy guy. The show he is doing in Boston with us, he is taking the train that morning from New York after taping Fallon Thursday night, playing the party at lunchtime, and then jumping a plane to Chicago that night. That’s kind of like his normal schedule— he’s a luminary, he loves to be involved in culture and participate in things he is passionate about,” said Lewis.
In the weeks to follow, Flavorpill has a host of other top artists lined up to spin for an hour in Boston, and even plans to start live-streaming the dance parties for those who can’t find the time to tear away from their computers, even if it’s just for an hour. “It’s really surprising. People are like ‘this is crazy, I want to be part of it,’ and then they get to the event and they are like, ‘this is awesome I want to go back,’” said Lewis. “The response has been really positive, and people want more of it.”
The next Lunch Break event with Questlove will be on Friday, October 18, from 1 to 2 p.m. at the “secret location.” Attendees can find out where it will be by signing up online.