Staging a rave is simply child's play
Not content with the cultural highs of baby opera, Wigan parents can now convince their offspring to become young ravers.
Promoters have lined up the borough’s first ever ‘baby rave’, for Pemberton Masonic Hall, on July 16, nearly 30 years on from Madchester and acid house.
Child development experts say the phenomenon, which has caught on elsewhere across the north-west and Yorkshire, enables mums, dads and grandparents to party with youngsters, who revel in the delights of sensory play.
The throwback to the late 80s follows the announcement that Wigan’s first baby opera - BambinO - will be performed at The Edge in early July.
Jenny McLoughlin-Settle, from organisers Little Ravers, said: “Our main aim is for every raver to have as much fun as possible,
“This was was set up with child development in mind. Our raves are designed and run by qualified teachers, including an early years specialist and a fundamental movement coach.
“Our events create an environment where children can develop sensory and motor skills and involve an exciting mixture of free dancing and dance routines specifically designed to boost development.”
Classic dance tunes have been pledged, alongside colourful soft play toys, bubble machines, disco lighting and musical instruments.
Even legendary dance DJ Fatboy Slim, alias Norman Cook, has been getting in on the act.
He recently played a secret gig in his hometown of Brighton for babies and toddlers.
The gig, part of the Baby Loves Disco movement, was part of the seaside resort’s fringe festival last summer.
Speaking afterwards, he said: “It was great fun for both me and my daughter and the crowd were so up for it.”
Little Ravers has already staged successful gatherings in Blackpool, St Annes and Warrington. They have tailored their events towards the under-eights, with aunts and uncles and older siblings also encouraged to shake off their inhibitions and join in.
Jenny added: “Children respond best to certain beats, and our dance tunes are hand-picked to get parents and little ones bopping.”
Supporters of baby raves say that dancing is known to improve co-ordination and motor skills among babies and toddlers, and promote psychological health.
They have also cited research into the relationship between music and brain development, which claims to show that early exposure to music increases abilities in other intellectual areas, such as language and arithmetic.
Child health officers also regularly recommend that youngsters should be physically active for at least an hour each day.
Tickets for the rave, which will take place from 10.30am to 11.30am, are priced at £6 for one adult and one child but discounts are available and can be booked online.