TOP 10 BABY-FRIENDLY GIGS, RAVES + CONCERTS
As chosen by the founders of Wake Up Gigs
Top 10 music-related activities for little ones and their grown ups…by Adam and Sarada, the founders of Wake Up Gigs
One of the finest record stores in the world is also surprisingly little-one friendly, as Adam found out during his shared parental leave. Hosting a range of artists performing their new releases at a rather friendly lunch-time slot, this is the place to find the best new bands and artists while you’re pushing a pram. You may need to buy the record of the artist you are going to see but otherwise there’s no ticket cost.
A brilliant way to introduce your little ones to the world of vinyl and buying real, physical music, this annual event is hosted throughout the world and celebrates bands and artists with a focus on independent releases. As it’s held during the day with performances in record stores throughout the country, you won’t be put off from bringing children to enjoy the free shows while you browse for special vinyl releases that are made exclusively for the day.
Without doubt this is our son Edwin’s favourite music-related activity, and his grandmother who goes with him agrees. Giving babies a slice of London’s best West End musicals, the performances are from current or former West End performers who play an hour-long set of great musical numbers from stage and film. Most of the events take place in churches across London and have a very relaxed attitude to babies making as much noise as they like.
4. FUN DMC
The most happening block party in town! Fun DMC is neat, funky and little-one friendly. DJ Charlie’s relentless passion for great RnB, hip hop and soul classics gets everyone grooving. And when else does your little one walk out of an event looking cooler than when they arrived, (every kid is given a ‘gold’ plastic chain)?
5. Family raves
The best-known and best-established family-friendly raves are without a doubt those organised by Big Fish Little Fish, and for a reason. These 2-4 hour party people (surely one of the best slogans around?) know how to put a donk on it. Rave and house music combined with great activities for the little ones (think themed shows, face-painting and balls pits) make for a well-spent afternoon, and no hangover. We’ve also enjoyed some of the newer ravers on the scene, including our favourites Diddy Rascals and Baby Loves Disco.
6. Groove Baby
Groove Baby programmes high-quality music concerts by a variety of artists playing jazz and contemporary music with a keen focus on getting little ones to enjoy the rhythms. Baby- and child-friendly, these performances also give people the chance to meet friends in a relaxed environment, treat themselves to a cup of coffee and some exciting and cutting-edge music.
This fun session invites you to experience the sounds of Gamelan, a traditional orchestral music of Java and Bali in Indonesia, at the Southbank Centre in London. The word refers more to the set of instruments than to the players and includes metalophones, xylophones, drums and gongs, bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings. Introduce your ‘Dragon Babies’ (actually aimed more at 3-5 year olds) to creative musical play through singing, movement and percussion.
8. Bach to Baby
The critically-acclaimed classical series Bach to Baby is set up by mum and pianist Miaomiao Yu after becoming frustrated at not being able to take her children to the sort of quality classical music concerts that she regularly enjoyed as a professional musician. Being a mum first and foremost, Miaomiao welcomes all the frenzy that comes along with being a parent of a young child. ‘It's about Mozart and Bach, feeding and crying, and dancing to music - all of it,’ she says. ‘We haven't made it through a concert without at least one nappy change. That's the way it should be.’
9. Monski Mouse
DJ Monski Mouse lets parents and under-fives loose on the dance floor in the friendliest of discos. This dance party is created and hosted by Australian DJ, producer and mum of two, Monski Mouse, who spins an eclectic selection of retro hits and funky nursery rhymes.
Returning to the UK in February 2017, this unique exhibition of popular music will relocate to Liverpool's Cunard building. The British Music Experience was created to fill a gap in the UK Heritage sector for rock and pop music. Entertainment for the grown-ups is undoubtedly from the rare opportunities to see the museum’s rare artefacts and manuscripts, including David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust costumes and the original handwritten lyrics to Blue Monday by New Order. And all ages will enjoy pressing all the buttons in the interactive studio and the vogueing in the video booth.
And last but not least, Wake up Gigs!
Despite all these fantastic events, we think there’s one area where there’s a gap and that’s for parents to enjoy going to gigs like they might have done before they had children. That’s where the idea for Wake up Gigs came from and we are putting on our first gig, showcasing great new music and artists on 13 November at Concrete Space in Shoreditch. It will be a friendly and welcoming atmosphere as we are lucky to have live sets from MALKA and Shanade Morrow. All profits from the event will be donated to Barnardo’s. If you fancy coming along, full ticket details can be found here.