By Callum Borchers
It’s lunch time in the Innovation District, so of course it’s time to paper over the windows, hang the strobe lights, and crank up the music.
Welcome to the new power lunch in Boston, about as far as you can get from the cushy banquettes of the downtown dining salons, where a buttoned-down waiter recommends the baked scrod and two guys in suits discuss weekend golf.
Instead, Lunch Beat Boston style is an amped-up dance hour, where the Seaport’s District Hall is turned into a darkened disco, and techies groove to thumping electronica so loud that networking becomes, by necessity, a wordless bounce to the beat with your neighbor.
Lunch Beat — a global franchise that started three years ago in the electronic dance music hub of Stockholm — is a noontime rave intended to break up the work routine with a midday jolt of techno tunes. Organizers in Greater Boston held their fourth such rave Wednesday at District Hall, the newly erected center of the city’s budding Innovation District.
“A lot of young people don’t want to just work and go home,” said Dries Buytaert, cofounder of Acquia, a software company that cosponsored the event. “They want to be part of something. They want to have an experience, so having some fun matters. It matters because it gives you a sense of purpose and makes work not just work.
“Technology people often come across as reserved, but I think they’re the first ones to drop their guards in an atmosphere like this,” Buytaert added.