What?: How Does it Feel has been running its HDIF Children’s Disco at Wiltshire’s end-of-summer End of the Road Festival since 2011, and introduced it as a monthly event in London earlier this year. Conceived as an indie alternative to the myriad rave-themed family discos available in the capital, HDIF promises a “wonderful opportunity for kids to bop around to The Smiths, Belle & Sebastian, Allo Darlin’, The Ramones and more, and for their parents to bop along with them”.
We arrived about an hour in to a pretty empty dancefloor (I couldn’t decide whether this was a good or bad thing, given that I hate big groups of people but could have quite happily disappeared into a crowd on that day since I was solo parenting, sans mates, and can’t dance for shit) and I apologetically dumped the buggy in the actually-pretty-spacious cloakroom. Apologetically because the HDIF website had specified no buggies, which I think is a pretty crazy request for a kids’ disco, but I’d brought it anyway because as if.
The pub is nice enough (HDIF takes place in the basement) and the song selection was decent, if rather more old-school than expected. Pixies, The Smiths and The Beatles all made an appearance, and there were plenty of upbeat numbers for Bab to dance to, even if Mummy was too cool do anything other than watch from the sidelines. We spent quite a long time scribbling on the album-art colouring-in sheets that had been scattered on tables and messing around in the photo booth, but we were definitely just killing time by the end. I wanted to love this so much and I think we would had we not been such massive billies. Basically, the moral of the story is BRING SOME MATES.
Where and When?: Discos take place from 12-4pm on the last Sunday of the month. The Phoenix is located at 37 Cavendish Square and is a three-minute walk from Oxford Circus station.
Best Bits: The free lollies.
Worst Bits: This is definitely an event for parents more than an event for kids, and while Bab did enjoy a little dance at the beginning she soon got bored and spent the remainder of the event trying to escape. Bab Dad was supposed to come along but had to work at the last minute. I had the beginnings of a cold and couldn’t stomach anything stronger than Diet Coke. In the end we were just a lone, sober, snotty woman and her arsy two year old in a basement bar on a Sunday afternoon; aimless, friendless and both wishing we were somewhere else – which was a real shame because I think with the addition of mates and beer this could have been great.
Facilities: Bar. Cloakroom. The website advises against bringing prams but there’s plenty of room for foldable buggies (although you will have to carry them down a fairly steep flight of stairs first).
Cost: £6 for adults (15 plus) and £2 for children (14 and under).
Would We Come Back?: With a group of friends, yes. On my own with Bab, no.
Mummy and Bab play in the photo booth at a HDIF children’s disco, The Phoenix, Fitzrovia.