The Glory Days
It wasn’t too long ago that our Sundays were spent lounging on the sofa, binge watching Netflix under a duvet, surrounded by empty crisp packets, and coke bottles; counting down the hours to when it’s deemed reasonably acceptable to dial in a Pizza, or Indian, or Thai, or……. you get the drift. This is what a hangover looked like in the Cox household, and it was a regular not so pretty sight. When we found out that we were expecting our first baby, we were in our 30’s and living the students dream/ nightmare spending equal time partying followed by suffering most weekends. From the moment we met back in ’02 at a drum and bass rave in Fabric, we never really stopped. Our love of music, dancing and going a bit wild was the foundation of our relationship, whether it was partying at a rave or a festival we were on it.
Admittedly as we got older we did slow down a bit, and took the less is more approach to going out and getting wasted. Cherry picking the events that are worth the 2 day hangover, because as we all know those hangovers get a whole lot worse as the years go on. With the arrival of Emerson in May we’re now pulling all nighters of a different kind, and the thought of getting up and entertaining a 7 month old, after a sesh is not appealing in the slightest. But we’re ravers at heart, and still get the urge to shack out to some decent tunes, as much as we love dancing around to the Hokey Cokey in the kitchen, it just doesn’t really cut it, and it’s nice to let loose outside of the house.
This is where Big Fish Little Fish the 2-4 hour party people come in, established in 2013 they put on family raving events up and down the country, and as far as Australia. The BFLF team are seasoned ravers, as well as parents and they know how to throw a decent party, with a playlist us adults can get down to without hearing one nursery rhyme! Emerson is 7 months old and we have been lucky enough to ride with him to 3 of these amazing events.
Our first BFLF was the Alexandra Palace “Summer of Love” Family Rave Extravaganza that was held in the venues Great West Hall. At the time Emerson was just 10 weeks old, and we took a gamble. We had only ever got down in the kitchen, and we wasn’t sure how he would take the crowds. We booked the tickets on a whim that morning, dressed E up as Mickey Mouse, not quite Summer of love but it was the best we could do at short notice and with ear defenders from Amazon that we had purchased in preparation for the Notting Hill Carnival, we made our way up that bloody hill.
The event didn’t disappoint, and the gamble most definitely paid off. We were blown away by the music selection; a nice mix of garage, hardcore & drum and bass. Emerson was totally amazed by the whole experience and being the little celebrity that he is loved all the attention he was getting from random people, none of who seemed to care that Mickey Mouse was at a summer of Love rave.
There was a great chill out area (soft play), where I was able to feed and take a little time out from the sensory overload (and that was just us – haha). Before we knew it the 2 hours was up, and the giant parachute was coming out for that “one last tune” House Of Pain’s – Jump Around. We left Ally Pally, in the pissing rain with big smiles on our face, and a sense of achievement that we had got out the house, and had the bonus of burning a few calories dancing to decent music.
We were on it, and started looking at the next event to go to. We were lucky enough to win tickets to an event of our choice after we entered a competition on the BFLF Facebook page. Fast forward to October where we attended the sold out Halloween Spooktacular, held at Proud Camden, with Emerson at nearly 6 months we were really looking forward to it, he could now smile and laugh so could let us know that he was feeling the bass, as much as Mummy and Daddy. Plus we hadn’t danced to any decent music since we took little E to carnival back in August so was definitely due a rave up.
Proud is a proper club, Ally Pally was great but the Hall was huge, and it was very light so more of a daytime festival vibe. We walked through the entrance with Emerson donning his best Vampire cape, to the main room. E was mesmerised by the (child friendly) rave lighting, and the visual screen display with dancing skeletons.
We had such a great time at @bflfevents Halloween Soooktacula family rave event at @proudcamden yesterday afternoon. Such a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon – Sundays the new Saturday. • • • • #lifestyleblogger #festivals #music #family #travelblogger #travel #gigs #lifewithababy #bigfishlittlefish #sunset #camden #bflf #newblogpost #saharatent #aboutus #vibeslifeus #goodvibes #blogger #blog #wanderlust #bloglovin #youmewander #instagood #picoftheday #familyrave #halloween #fun
This time round the room was intimate, a stark contrast to the Great West Hall, and was full of parents and kids dressed up for Halloween, raving next to a family of Beetlejuice’s was a first. Me and Pete with our ghost head bopper hair band were well under dressed, lucky Emerson was repping with his outfit choice. 2 Bad Mice, the hardcore dj’s that Pete, and I have seen many a time were headlining and put on a wicked set, just because the majority of the ravers were under the age of 10 their selection didn’t falter. The tunes were banging, amongst a number of personal favs, Sound of Eden -Shades of Rhythm and Bizarre Inc – Playing with Knifes caught my ear and just like the visuals were played at a safe level. The kids were loving it, glitter canons were going off, homemade cupcakes were being yammed, and for us the queue for the bar was short. There was a number of rooms for chill/time out purposes and like the last event a soft play area (although not as large as before). The afternoon came & went, and the parachute was out and just like the old days we were the last ones left in the club.
The Only Way is BFLF
When we attended the Spooktacular In October, Emerson’s Raving calendar was already shaping up nicely and tickets had been purchased for the BFLF Essex launch in November. I’m from Essex, and the venue; Orsett Hall was actually our wedding venue so it was a no brainer that we were getting tickets. This time round we were joined by some non raving friends, as well as a few of our old raving pals and their kids. My Mum and Sister even joined us, for their first ever rave. As always the events all have a theme, and this one was “Out of this World”. Cue lots of aliens, little monsters and tin foil hats.
We arrived early and stood outside in the cold waiting for the doors to open, but this only helped add to the authentic rave experience. We got into the Pavilion room, and grabbed our spot by the bar. This time round the vibe was definitely more akin to Ally Pally, than the more clubby feel of Proud, but this gave the kids much more space to run about and let loose, as well as the parents chasing after them. DJ Trax and Nookie provided the soundtrack for the event and as standard, didn’t disappoint. There were crafts, and soft play and even a children’s birthday party happening in one corner of the room. Rather than crowding around the front hanging on the barriers while desperately trying to get a shout out from the MC, the kids were gathered trying to get a touch of the bubbles that were coming from the stage.
The giant parachute finale is a firm fixture on The BFLF scene, this time to Prodigy’s “Out of Space”, even nanny got in on the action and just goes to show that these events are really for all members of the family.
Emerson is still so young, and can’t take advantage (yet) of a lot of what these events put on, such as Captain Cookies Craft table, face painting, and making full use of the tunnels and tents in the soft play areas. In the 3 times we have attended E and us have had such a great time, it’s an amazing multi sensory learning experience for him, and we get to share with him our love of music and dancing (and hope that he will have rhythm), and the good vibes no drama message that underpins the rave scene is a good one to teach the future generations. We can’t wait for the next event! I’ll leave this here with a quote from Hannah the founder of Big Fish Little Fish.
“Raving always came from the heart, a way to express a love of music and dancing with your friends. BFLF extends that across the generations so you can rave with your family too. It’s a celebration of life, love, unity and music.’ – Hannah
To be continued…