Not many people know this but I used to be a bit of a raver back in the day. Dressed in skimpy neon outfits, glow-stick in hand and smiley-faced (pre-emoji) vest tops I’d travel around the country to discover if God really is a DJ.
I thought those days were long behind me until I heard about family raves … a chance to revisit my clubbing days but with baby in tow. I was all over it like extras on a Calvin Harris record. To be honest the thing that excited me the most wasn’t the chance to dance like no-one was watching but because it was such a refreshing alternative to many of the mother & baby offerings out there. Sitting in another feet-smelling church hall drinking weak tea and talking about nappy rash solutions with frazzled sleep deprived mums can get a little tedious after a while.
What started in hip Brixton in 2013 by Big Fish Little Fish, family raves (aimed at those with kids 0-8yrs old) have now been rolled out across the UK and further afield. It promises to mash-up your family afternoons with a 2-4 hour party people event full of top DJ’s playing club classics to entertain both big and little kids.
With Everleigh in a baby carrier, John and I went to see if we could still party like we used to.
*Spoiler alert – It was bonkers but brilliant!
On a sunny Sunday afternoon we joined a long queue of excitable party animals. Being handed a glow-stick at the entrance was just the start of it. Once inside and with a faint whiff of Saturday night’s hangover in the air it was clear that there was nothing mumsy about this event. Glitter cannons sprayed over our heads, toddlers sat on their parents shoulders with their hands in the air like they didn’t care and enthusiastic staff members pumped out bubbles from super soakers. It was a sensory/visual extravaganza. Forget illegal substances or chemical highs the atmosphere easily had the crowd hooked and wanting more.
For babies, there was a safe zone upstairs where they could crawl about or play in the neon ball pool without the worry of being trampled on. Downstairs the dance-floor was full of young families making shapes or getting stuck in at the craft area, play-doh table or waiting for face painting. The only slight worry was tripping over an excitable toddler zipping between your legs as you made your way around the dark room.
Music is played at a much lower level than in an actual night club to protect precious little ears but thankfully the DJ spun a set straight from Ibiza. Not a nursery rhyme to be heard. There’s also a no-strobe rule for delicate eyes although I did see some very cute kids in sunglasses.
The rave was a random but hilarious family afternoon out that I would 100 percent recommend. Just because you’ve become parents doesn’t mean you have to always act like a grown-up… Like mum like daughter, we may have a future mini-raver on our hands!