Busting moves with your baby: Why Notts parents are taking their kids to raves

A Baby Raver enjoys the colourful light display

Organisers of an award-winning ‘Baby Rave’ have announced more dates after being inundated with demand from Nottingham parents eager to relive their best clubbing years. Alice Watkins caught up with the mum-of-two who runs the rave for families.


Aimed at the post-acid house generation, Big Fish Little Fish offers parents across the country a chance to indulge in some nineties clubbing nostalgia – with their children. Launching in Nottingham last year at city clubbing institution, The Irish Centre, the event was the first of it’s kind in the city.

Verena Scrimshire decided to set it up here after a summer of partying with her children.

She said: “I really loved dancing to the music I know with my children. Dancing and raving with my little boy brings me lots of joy and that’s the same for many parents.

“I was frustrated because there was nothing to go to out of festival season, somewhere relaxed, entertaining and daft, where adults too can really enjoy themselves.”

Verena Scrimshire knows how to throw a party.

Over just four years Big Fish Little Fish has come a long way.

Starting life as just one party in Brixton in 2013, it now regularly hosts raves across the country.

Now, it’s also made its mark at the National Family Arts Festival, which is supported by the Arts Council.

“It was really fantastic to win not just one but four awards out of a staggering 4,000 events,” Verena added.

“Everyone at Big Fish Little Fish and indeed all the venues, DJs and performers are completely chuffed.”

Verena thinks the event has tapped into a love for dance music that originates from parents partying through their teens at some of the city’s iconic venues.

She said:”It’s for parents like me, who love music, love the festival feeling.

“We’re thrilled to have artists like DJ Dave Congreve involved, who because of his residencies at Venus, The Bomb and Stealth will be known to a fair number of Nottingham parents.”

The events are designed to be friendly, sociable, and bring a taste of responsible nostalgia.

She added: “It’s just how raves used to be. Families from all backgrounds love our parties. There’s always a great mix. Parents with their kids, grandparents with their grandchildren, groups of friends big and small, aunts and uncles.”

Dad and daughter showcase their dance moves out on the floor.

Big Fish Little Fish Founder, Hannah Saunders, 43, explains what compelled her to host the first party in Brixton.

She said: “It’s very easy as a parent to completely lose yourself in your children and it doesn’t actually make for happy people. What we are trying to do is help parents regain a little bit of themselves, which they can share with their children.”

She added: “I have never agreed with the concept that certain things suddenly are no longer deemed to be child-friendly after becoming a parent.”

All of the parties are themed and the children are kept entertained by the range of activities on offer.

The rave offers a craft corner, a multi-sensory dance floor and features disco balls, bubble machines, confetti cannons and even a giant play parachute.

Families enjoy the range of activities on offer at the craft corner.

Verena said: “All the crew love getting creative and coming up with different themes for each of our raves. It’s great fun sourcing decorations and fancy dress outfits, and we love the themed giant colouring murals.

“Best of all is seeing how creative all the families get with their amazing outfits.

“I’ve been taking my children to music festivals since they were babies and what I found most enjoyable is watching their reactions to the colours, lights and the people.”

Mother and baby join on the dance floor.

Verena believes that children love to see their parents having as much of a good a time as them whilst they enjoy crafting, dancing and playing – and parents shouldn’t feel apprehensive about bringing their children along for the party.

She said: “If they loved clubbing, loved dance music, miss bouncing around on the dance floor and have young kids then they should give it a go.”

Big Fish Little Fish will return to Nottingham at the Glee Club, Castle Wharf on Saturday, June 10, with a Flower Power-themed party.

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