I was bummed to hear that Baby Loves Disco, the infant-friendly dance-party empire run by Heather Murphy and Andy Hurwitz, will be slowing down considerably. I myself don’t have a baby, but these toddler-themed events have gone so far beyond your typical hipster-parent cliches that you can’t help but take notice; whether it’s the disco dance parties or “Baby Loves Music” mixtape series–Baby Loves Jazz, Baby Loves Hip-Hop (featuring the talents of Prince Paul, Ursula Rucker, Scratch from the Roots, Ladybug Mecca, & Chali 2na), Baby Loves Reggae, etc.–the results are just plain adorable. It all screams “My mom is cooler than your mom.” Unfortunately, it seems that it’s time for the much-loved event to grow up.
The party started in 2004 in Philadelphia, aiming to provide an unconventional way for parents to hang out with their kids in a group setting, and eventually expanded to 30 cities across the country. The monthly three-hour events (“to allow for various lunch times, nap times, and afternoon activities”) transform local nightlife hotspots into kid-friendly wonderlands: Snack tables and diaper-changing stations lurk alongside activity stations (crayons and books and things) and soft lounging areas. Bubble machines and colorful balloons float over a dance floor manned by local favorites–the Rub has been holding down NYC’s soiree for years, first at Southpaw and more recently at Le Poisson Rouge. Best of all, the bar was still open if you were old enough. No entry allowed without a child, of course.
Rumors of BDLNYC’s folding came shortly after their five-year anniversary, celebrated just last week, when the event was removed from all DJ schedules and venue calendars. Not a huge surprise–it’s incredible that this mom-and-pop venture has lasted in this capacity for so long–but sad nonetheless. In an email to the Voice, Murphy said that the NYC parties might very well continue every month. But things look bleak on that front–the event remains absent from both LPR and BLD’s calendars. As for the other 29 cities, all is not lost–the party is supposedly continuing on as a touring act. “We’ve raised our Baby (Loves Disco), and our hearts do swell with pride as we now prepare for Phase II of life as BLD,” Murphy explains. “We are shifting our focus to a touring entity–like a band, like the circus, we will pack up the bus each season and take the show on the road for a special Baby Loves Disco in your city!”
In the meantime, you can download this live podcast from Baby Loves Disco NYC.