Raves became big news when I was at school – legal and illegal raves swept up the nation’s youth throughout the 90s. They were frowned upon by many grown-ups but to a youngster, they sounded pretty exciting! I loved the energy of the music and still do – The Prodigy will always be one of my favourite bands.
But, despite loving the music, I never made it to one of these dance nights. I was a bit too young and far too timid. Now as a grown-up myself, I had the chance to go to my first rave and this was one that no parent could complain about.
I’m counting this as one of my #100Days because it is a new activity for us. But I’ve written this post in a slightly more reviewy-style than usual as we were gifted our tickets 🙂
Big Fish Little Fish have run family-friendly, daytime raves around the UK since 2013. The familiar high-tempo, floor-filling club classics are there, but the club-style elements are tweaked so they’re suitable for little people too. The music volume is lowered and while they do have nightclub lighting, there are no strobes.
When we got there we were given some glow sticks which the boys made into bracelets, and with the music filtering through from the dance floor we were quickly feeling the vibe.
Being close to Hallowe’en, there was a spooky theme (hence the outfits – Rob’s not normally that pale) and there was a mix of people dressed up and not. I wanted to dress up as I fear it won’t be too many years before the boys declare they’re “too old” for dressing up. Let’s make the most of it before then!
Rave dancing is said to be good for stress relief because of its free-form nature. It certainly is tough not to let the music take hold of you. As I write I’ve got Rave Classics playing on Spotify and I can’t keep still!
Slightly different story on the day for our boys, who needed a bit of warming up. At home we play music a lot, and you can’t stop them dancing and throwing some shapes. So, you’d think they’d be in their element on the dance floor. They showed their shy side, and were content taking in everything going on around them – quietly loving it in their own little way 🙂
Actually, the novelty of seeing a live DJ on stage kept our boys spellbound for a while! At intervals snow, bubbles and glitter were sprayed from the stage. Twisty fluorescent balloons were launched into the crowd and the giant bouncy ball was a winner with our sport-crazy boys. “Who can head it first?”
As parents themselves, the guys from BFLF lay on activities to keep the children amused and occupied. As well as dancing (obvs) you could have your face painted (yes, grown-ups too!) and enjoy being creative in the craft area which was alongside the dance area, so close enough to still hear the music.
A pop-up cake stall provided some extra energy and the bar was open for snacks & drinks, including alcohol. It’s a nice touch because, so long as you’re sensible, why shouldn’t you enjoy a glass or two at a family event?!
Inevitably, there will be children who need a bit of quiet and some downtime, particularly if this is a new experience. There’s always a chillout zone at the BFLF raves, which is fantastic. They’ve really considered what families need to enjoy a stress-free event.
We knew it was drawing to a close when the finale began: dancing under the giant parachute! This is a staple for young children’s parties and despite being at the older end of the age range, it was one of our boys’ highlights.
It ended on a high for me & Rob too. The last track was The Source featuring Candi Staton – You’ve Got The Love. One of my favourite dance tracks, ever. Rob’s too. The 2006 New Voyager remix was our First Dance at our wedding. Perfect ending 🙂
Big Fish Little Fish have created something special: an event where families and friends can get together and enjoy the unique atmosphere that rave music generates, either as a nostalgia trip or a brand new discovery. We all loved it.
And when Ollie leaves saying, “That was EPIC!”, you know we’ll be back!
If you like the sound of the family raves, check out Big Fish Little Fish to see if there’s an event near you in the UK or Australia – yes, they’re now down under too! 🙂
Bye for now!
Disclosure: Our four tickets were gifted to us by Big Fish Little Fish in return for an honest review and social media promotion. Food & drinks during the event were paid for by us. As ever, all opinions are my own.