Bubblicious Rave Review

by Kate Denkinson
Bubblicious Rave Review

Bubblicious Rave Review photo credit Kate Denkinson 2017

It’s 2pm on Saturday and I am surrounded by a neon-painted crowd of dancers; gloriously decked out in tutus and face-painted to match they gaze around in awe, grasping for the bubbles endlessly pumped in by machine. The pounding bass-lines (I was reassured they keep it low so as not to harm tiny ears), dayglo decor and multi-coloured strobes bring back memories of muddy fields and damp tents and I begin to regret not dressing for the occasion. As I get my bearings and debate whether it would be weird to dance alone I am jostled out of the way by a gaggle of sugared-up pre-schoolers having no such internal conflict.

At the post-modern baby rave “where you from & what are you on?” has been replaced by more important conversations about getting back in time for tea and Peppa Pig. Tiny people toddle confidently up to their guy in the corner, hands outstretched in the hope of receiving sweets and snacks to further fuel their sugar high before they dive back into the fray. For those who aren’t yet walking alone, parents are on hand to hoist them aloft so they can grasp at the flashing lights, eyes wide, lost in the sounds and colours of a completely new experience. Out front there is a face-painting tent where glitter and neon flowers are daubed on rosy cheeks (because today is the one time you can draw on yourself without a telling-off).

Visual Arts Plymouth

Bubblicious Rave Review Family photo, credit Kate Denkinson

Bubblicious Rave Review

Bubblicious Rave Review photo credit Kate Denkinson 2017

For those arriving here expecting a version of the playgroup Christmas party, expect to be disappointed. Bubblicious touts itself as a Family Rave and does exactly what it says on the Facebook group. The tunes are banging, the room is glowing and it’s hands in the air like you just don’t care that it’s way past nap-time.

Taking time out from snapping pictures and manning the front desk, the organisers explain that the rave has been organised to provide an alternative activity for the under-fives and raise funds for the Theatre Company. Part of the regeneration of Devonport park, The Soapbox (where Bubblicious is held) is the home of Soapbox Children’s Theatre and the Stiltskin Creative Arts & Theatre Company. Used for a variety of community-based activities, the building is a “Children’s Cultural Hub” in which organisers eventually plan to have a small storytelling auditorium, workshop studio, amphitheatre, rooftop classroom and stage.

The parents I manage to speak with express nothing but approval for the event. Not always renowned for ground-breaking cultural events, Plymouth is slowly shaking off its backward image with the help of events like these. Already a successful business venture in other parts of the country, family raves are an oddly successful combination of nostalgia and innovation. Whilst the mainstream associates rave culture with psychedelic drugs and illegal activities, the true spirit of rave (Peace, Love, Unity & Respect) is at a premium in this new take on the movement. The children are free to do, dress and dance as they please. Creativity is encouraged and the overriding feeling is one of positivity and community.

If you and your little ravers are interested in attending Bubblicious, the next event will take place on 9th September at 1pm and tickets can be purchased via the Facebook group. The first event was a sell-out and the next looks to continue the trend so get your orders in early
www.stiltskin.org.uk

 Bubblicious Rave Review photo credit Kate Denkinson 2017

Bubblicious Rave Review Family photo, credit Kate Denkinson