Raver Tots’ Summer Festival is returning to Southend on the 25th August at Garon Park and we caught up with the Organisers of the successful event for a chat about it.
Introductions please, tell us who you are, where you’re from and what you do
Mike: I am the organiser and founder of Raver Tots the UK’s leading family rave event.
Eddie Craig: I’m a DJ and Producer and one half of the multi-platinum selling and award winning, Wideboys.
Raves for kids? Who came up with that?
MIKE: The concept of parents being able to party with their kids has been around for a while, but we’re the first to do things on this major scale with such an authentic rave foundation. Raver Tots shows have everything from fairground rides, to confetti blasters, pyrotechnics, huge decorated venues and the biggest names in dance music. We are the first to be delivering this on such a large scale to audiences of all ages!
The music industry has moved on so much in the last ten years, where do you see things going?
EDDIE: The music industry has changed and developed in so many ways since the 90s and even just access to equipment and technology alone has made huge jumps in the last ten years. What you can do on a laptop with programs like Cubase and Rekordbox can save hour and hours of time. I can carry 10,000 songs in my back pocket. I would have needed an Arctic lorry and 10 record box carriers to move that amount of music in the past! This is going to keep evolving with new software and tech and things like virtual reality club nights may bring people together from around the world but only if the all-important atmosphere can be generated somehow.
Was it import to you to create an event where the whole family can have fun?
MIKE: Yes, I’ve been tee total for quite a few years and the idea of rolling in at 6amdoesn’t appeal , my family comes first now, but I have never lost the music bug, and I know there’s loads of people just the same as me! It’s so important to us to keep the music authentic and credible so the parents can enjoy themselves, whilst still entertaining the kids and helping them make amazing memories through partying, so Raver Tots was born out of that and the success has been amazing.
What’s your favourite classic rave tune and why?
MIKE: That’s so hard to answer! Probably Lenny De Ice with We are IE. An early rave track released in 1991 and it had phenomenal success. Many argue this was (one of) the first jungle tracks, but also would get dropped at garage raves too in the late 90’s and 2000’s. There are not many tracks that can fit in at a Hardcode, Jungle and Garage rave but this one literally smashes down those barriers and still sounds fresh today!
EDDIE : Impossible to answer but I always like to play for both the guys and the girls so the raw game changing energy of Double 99s speed garage anthem RIP Groove and the Sing along unifying Robin S classic Show Me Love always get a great response!
We hear you’ve launched a festival? What inspired you to do that?
MIKE: Through demand and lots of planning, we have put on two shows in Southend now with a combined total of 10,000 people in attendance. Both shows sold out a month in advance and we had people of all ages attend from 1-month old babies to 80-year-old great grandmothers! All of this to the backdrop of the nation’s biggest dance music brands like Garage Nation, AWOL, Fusion and more playing the best in 90’s rave, UK Garage, Drum and Bass and loads more. It’s been absolutely mental!
How does it feel to be dj’ing to kids?
EDDIE: It’s an honour and a great responsibility and, being a father of two myself, I would only ever want to expose my kids and those at Raver Tots to positive and uplifting vibes and I am incredibly passionate about this. To give the youth of today a chance to be a part of their parents raving days is so important and a completely different scenario and context for the adults too and that is what creates those special memories. For a lot of youngsters this is their first big music experience and our main aims are to bring families together with huge smiles and authentic music and give them the chance to dance and keep fit and get away from the screens!!!
If you could host a Raver Tots event anywhere, where would it be?
MIKE: We’re looking at Raver Tots events USA and Australia at the moment. In the UK, it’s more festival sites, I love the outdoors!
EDDIE: – In every town in the UK and beyond!
9, What’s the most popular tune at a Raver Tots event
MIKE: I love watching Wideboys do the live remix of Sambuca, where they get everyone to sing: “We went to the bar, for a Coca Cola!” The parents are all cracking up and kids getting involved, it’s jokes!
EDDIE: – Ha that does get a great reaction. In fairness the crowds are always awesome and really sing along to the vocals and rave to the bass. If you have not been a part of or seen the videos of the World-Famous Raver Tots parachute with Ray Keith’s jungle anthem Chopper and Sia’s Little Man – Exemen Remix you haven’t lived ?? (Eddie)
If you could have anyone DJ or MC with you, who would it be?
MIKE: We have a wicked roster with Wideboys, Pied Piper, DT, Brandon Block, Phantasy, Nicky Blackmarket, Vibes, Chalkie White etc, but Fatboy Slim would be amazing to add one day!
However, If I could rewind the clocks it would be Stevie Hyper D, the originator of modern MC’ing as we know it today, before he passed away in 1998, he influenced a whole generation of artists, many of which who reached top 40 fame. In my eyes, he’s the original and greatest entertainer the rave scene has ever seen. RIP!
EDDIE:- I Love working with Hyperactive and his daughter (the littlest stage dancer) DT and Creed, would also Love for Majestic, Mc Kie and DJ Ez , Them Ones and awesome female DJs like radio 1s Charlie Hedges to all be involved.
Who would you love to attend a Raver Tots event and why?
MIKE: We’ve had some really random and cool guests attend from top 40 stars like Chase and Status, through to first team England footballers like Kerion Tripper. But if I could name one family, I’d love to see come down it would be the Royals. We do raves in Windsor so it’s only over the road for them too and I’d love to see if prince Phillip can floss!
EDDIE: – I Love attending Raver Tots with my whole family and friends that always is the best for me! One of my favourite memories was when we celebrated Mike’s son’s birthday together with my family and my best mate Tony and his son!
Inclusivity plays a big part in your events, why is that?
MIKE: The very foundation of the rave scene came from the unity that people felt in the late 80’s. All races creeds and ethnicities where coming together, the class divide suddenly meant nothing on the dance floor, football violence was getting stamped out, the Berlin wall came down, and after a decade where generation had the feeling of living under the button, people had an outlet and sense of release. Peace love and unity and all though music where people where equals. What a positive message to live by, and why not carry that on, but for all ages as well!
Tickets are available from £13, https://www.ravertots.co.uk/festival