It has been ten years since I last set foot in Fabric nightclub and, truth be told, I don’t remember a great deal of it…
The London venue is recognised far and wide as one of the world’s finest clubs; a place I frequented often in my youth before marriage, mortgages and sensible cars. I still ‘Can’t Get No Sleep’, but it’s for a very different reason nowadays.
So imagine my surprise when my wife accosted me a fortnight ago telling me that we were taking the kids there.
Big Fish Little Fish have been organising daytime ‘family raves’ (2-4pm) for more than a decade at a number of iconic clubbing venues up and down the country, with the only rule being you have to attend with a child.
Everyone there is in exactly the same boat: dragging around a pram full of accessories, wiping drool stains off their shoulders. They’ve had guests as young as nine-days-old and as old as 90!
We arrive at 1:30pm and the crash barriers are erected with cues of excited families already forming. As we enter the club the nostalgia-trip begins; that familiar smell hitting my nostrils before descending down those famous steps to the basement.
The venue is essentially the same place I remembered with two bare-brick dancefloors.
The space in between is filled with kid-friendly arts, crafts and activities. Facepainting and cupcakes stalls sit beside the bar area, which has been altered slightly with a more generous soft drink selection to accommodate the guests in attendance.
The mezzanine floor overlooking the main room; the VIP bar at any other event is repurposed as a chill-out zone with padded floor, tents and tunnels for the littlest little ones to take a break.
The most important thing of course is the music; a tip-top selection of drum‘n’bass and jungle pounded out of room two with ‘proper’ House music lighting up room one; no lullabies or children’s favourites, just good grooves.
The same kind of grooves you’d hear on a Saturday evening (albeit not quite as loud). It felt just like it should. The lights darting left and right, fog machines blowing and hands, both little and larger, thrown aloft.
It felt so good seeing a packed room full of people; families and friends together again – restriction-free.
My own children didn’t hesitate to jump on the dancefloor and cut a rug, as did all the small people in attendance. Both rooms quickly filled with smiles all round.
There were a few child-friendly adjustments; foam, bubbles and glitter shot over the happy revellers, as well as enormous, inflatable, confetti-filled balls bouncing left and right.
At the back-end of the event, giant sacks filled with colourful balloons were poured out.
Perfect as, by this point, many kids were feeling the pace, planted on the shoulders of euphoric parents.
Part of me felt a little cheated I’d never before left a nightclub with an arm full of inflatables.
We left just before the event wrapped after having an absolute ball. Even our exit reminded me of my youth. The clamour for your coat as the cold air hits you; pushing through the exit doors and sharp daylight blinding you.
The only difference between then and now is back then we were clambering down the stairs at 4am – staring down at my watch it was only 4pm!
That night I lifted buckets of Hot Wheels, Barbie dolls and Lego stacked upon my beloved Technics turntables and had myself a little mix.
It was just as joyful as my afternoon with the family.
And the kids slept past 7am – a big achievement for any parent!
Find out tickets and dates via Big Fish Little Fish.
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