Why go to Glastonbury When You Can go to a Family Rave?

Justifying hundreds of pounds for a weekend of music and drink must be carefully considered because, school uniform purchasing is just around the corner.



With festival season just around the corner, the intense urge to attend one becomes a reality. You want to immerse yourself in to some old and new tunes, whilst temporarily leaving your everyday life at the front door.

Then you remember... you are a parent.

Justifying hundreds of pounds for a weekend of music and drink must be carefully considered because, school uniform purchasing is just around the corner.

This dilemma has been confused further with the sudden rise of the family rave. A small, heavily toned- down, well organized (and legal), music event at a very affordable cost for all to enjoy.

My wife and I (and daughter) went along to one in Groombridge, Kent - hosted by Big Fish Little Fish, from 1pm until 3am the following morning.  Well, more like 3pm - we were home for tea and three episodes of Dora and friends.

We arrived by car and were directed to park in a field amongst the fellow festival-goers - it was drizzling, and only 13 degrees - very Glastonbury-esque.

With wellies on, and a Disney Frozen rucksack on my back, I became incredibly eager to see how an experience from my past could combine with my new life as a father.

As we paced toward the arena - delightfully nestled within an ancient woodland - I heard the bass of a classic late 90's house track... full nostalgia, my teenage memories had reignited. I was in a very happy place.

Once inside the woods, the layout was very just like the festivals I remembered from my youth - the DJ booth was above the crowd in a tree house - and, the "main stage" area was home to a collection of confused children, previous party animal parents, and the occasional toddler meltdown.

Colourful wellies, summer hats, copious amounts of mud, and hundreds of thousands of people were present - ok, maybe 200 (a screaming toddler seems to equate to at least 100 people). But it was just the right amount of people to be honest.

Surprisingly, there was a licensed bar - offering canned beer and wine - Putting trust in the adults to limit their indulgence and remain in control, not overindulging as they may have done in the past.

One can of beer later and I was ready for the "main stage". With my daughter sitting on my shoulders, we were mixing shapes to 'Put your hands up for Detroit' - an old club classic. There was no theme tune to Peppa Pig in sight!

I felt 21 again and a little light-headed - and my daughter was loving life on my shoulders. My pregnant wife danced with us; and 200-odd people bounced around, smiles beaming and pretending they were in Ibiza. It was a great, happy vibe nonetheless. And one which I recommend to any parent in need of a little nostalgic fun.

There was one stray bloke who looked like he was enjoying himself a little too much. Beer in one hand and an e-cigarette in the other - he was definitely back in 1994, with no children and not a care in the world.

After a few tunes, we needed a rest - we were not 21 anymore. We walked around, exploring the crafts activities and pirate themed stations - as well as a BBQ and the obligatory face painting.

Some more memorable anthems were being played and I was keen to get back to the "main stage". The sound was at a decent volume - not too loud for kid's small ears, but loud enough for adults to re-enact Creamfields 1999.

Back on to my shoulders she went; we all smiled, laughed and danced the afternoon away.

A great family event!

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The crèche allowed me to fully participate in the business of conference: debates, votes, speeches, lunchtime fringes and, at one point, a campaign meeting. Without it, I could not have attended at all. With the crèche, I had the best of both worlds: regular cuddles with my son grounding me in between policy debates and ministerial Q&As.
Rachel, Liberal Democrats, Conference Crèche