What is the Campaign about?

Welsh language information

The Family Arts Campaign is a national Sector Support Organisation funded by Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to raise family engagement with arts and culture.

Since our beginnings in 2012, we have focused on three main areas of work:

  • Increasing the amount and range of artistic work available to families
  • Increasing the quality of experience for families
  • Improving marketing to reach more families

We are here to support National Portfolio Organisations, museums, libraries, community groups, individuals, and anyone else looking to better connect families with arts and culture.

You can take part by signing up to the free Family Arts Standards and Age-Friendly Standards quality-marks, by attending training and events, or accessing our online resources library. You can also promote all of your family and age-friendly events for free as part of our Fantastic for Families  campaign.


Who is running the Campaign?

We are a cross-sector and cross-artform initiative steered by a consortium of ten organisations and trade bodies. Our lead partner organisation is The Albany.

Logos of consortium partners: AMA, CVAN, ITS, One Dance UK, Society of London Theatre, UK Theatre, The Albany, Kids in Museums, ABO, The Audience Agency


The campaign is overseen by a Project Board:

Matthew Swann(Interim chair) Chief Executive, City of London Sinfonia
Sebastian CaterHead of UK Theatre and Workforce Development, UK Theatre
Charlotte JonesChief Executive, Independent Theatre Council
Cath HumeExecutive Director, Arts Marketing Association
Robert O’DowdChief Executive, Rose Theatre Kingston
Gavin BarlowChief Executive/Artistic Director, The Albany
Mark PembertonDirector, Association of British Orchestras
Anne TorreggianiExecutive Director, The Audience Agency
Karla Barnacle-Best CEO, Discover Children’s Story Centre
Alison Bowyer and Laura BedfordExecutive Director and Head of Programmes, Kids in Museums
Paula OrrellDirector, Contemporary Visual Arts Network
Frederick HopkinsHead of Business Development and Membership, One Dance UK
Sarah Mears and Liz McMillanProgramme Manager, Libraries Connected / Libraries and Culture Services Manager, Slough Borough Council 


Central co-ordination team:

Anna DeverHead of Campaign
Rukhsana JahangirCampaign Manager
Sophie EvansDigital Marketing Manager
Daniela GerstmannDigital Marketing Officer

Back to top | Close



An outdoor festival for families: BFLF and The Horniman

Fantastic for Families Award 2020 Case Studies

We’re pleased to bring you a series of Case Studies from this year’s Shortlisted Organisations for the Fantastic for Families Awards.

Big Fish Little Fish have made the shortlist for this year’s Best Family Event award for their Outdoor Family Festival, in partnership with the Horniman Museum & Gardens. Here, the founder, Hannah Saunders, talks us through how they got started and went on to develop an award-winning programme for families.

Dark club with coloured lighting - two people hold out a large parachute

Big Fish Little Fish created the family rave phenomenon in 2013 when they ran the first ‘family rave’ in a pub in Brixton, South London. The Founder, Hannah Saunders, loved taking her young family to music festivals but could not find other family events where all generations were catered for in the same way. Inspired by her lifelong love of raving/clubbing and wanting to share dance music with her family she thought of the idea of a ‘family rave’ – a mini festival for young families where everyone could enjoy themselves in the same place TOGETHER. Drawn very much from the ethos of raving, Big Fish Little Fish is inclusive, creative, quirky and a lot of fun.

BFLF events have at their heart great music – over 250 world famous DJs have played BFLF – with amazing sensory effects for families to interact with on the dancefloor such as foam, bubbles, confetti, visuals and parachutes – to give a magical place for all to dance. Child craft experts design and run multi- activity craft areas, reflecting the fancy dress theme and allowing children of all ages to be arty. There are also break out play and chill areas to let imaginations run free and work with other organisations to bring in workshops such as synthesizers/drumming/circus skills/DJ skills and theatre or storytellers and even comedy shows. BFLF is able to bring a family audience into iconic ‘adult’ venues such as fabric, Glastonbury Festival, Lakota (Bristol), Epic (Norwich), Leadmill (Sheffield), FAC251 (Manchester)  and Phoenix (Exeter) and allow for prestigious venues such as National Gallery, Coventry Cathedral, Cardiff Castle, Melbourne Music Week, Whitworth Gallery, Museum of London and V&A Museum to engage in new ways with a family audience.

The 2020 shortlisted event is for the very special family fun day with the Horniman Museum in July 2019. After two small, highly acclaimed events inside the Horniman Museum in 2018, the Museum asked Big Fish Little Fish to work with them to deliver a full afternoon family festival in their grounds in the summer for 2,500 people. Drawing on customer feedback from the smaller events and the Horniman’s extensive research on their visitors, we designed the day suitable for the age range and visitor needs. They developed a programme, highlighting both the essence of Big Fish Little Fish and showcase the Museum’s collection. To appeal to all generations of families in South East London and beyond. There were a range of different activities: for larger groups, one-to-one, and others for small families or individuals to make sure there was something for everyone.

The main focus was the DJ rave where families could dance together through bubbles, foam and balloons. Held on the historic bandstand – with London laid out in a panoramic view – over the large terrace and up the sloping green hill. DJs included BFLF residents Baker &Beale and world famous drum and bass legend Aphrodite, finishing with Alex Paterson (The Orb). Activities included a nature trail around the Horniman Gardens to explore and learn about the plants and wildlife around them. Crafts were provided by Captain Cookie, in a large teaching shed to make flower crowns. The Horniman provided artefacts from their collection to handle and learn about their history from their staff. People could use a photo booth with the artefacts as props and costume. The Museum also provided a storyteller from the World of Stories programme in a quieter area of the Gardens created as the chill area. There were food and drinks stalls, face painting, plus access to the Butterfly House and mini golf.  At the end of the 4 hour event attendees were given cups of coloured powder and had a colour throw!

Since March, BFLF has been unable to run their usual events and so have gone online to provide free weekly ‘Kitchen Rave’ live DJ streams every Sunday. These have been extremely popular and over 500,000 people have watched. They are a wonderful way to connect with families during these socially distant times and they have also streamed as part of virtual festivals such as Camp Bestival, Pride and Greenpeace as well as for culture partners like Museum of London. BFLF were delighted to be able to help celebrate the re-opening of the Horniman Museum with a live stream from within the Museum galleries with DJ Prime Cuts. In this way BFLF has managed to continue to provide fun, inclusive activities for families during 2020 and indeed been able to help their cultural partners to engage with their audiences too.


Hannah Saunders is the Founder of Big Fish Little Fish productions.


Find more Case Studies from the Fantastic For Families Awards Shortlist >

Add your event listings to the Fantastic for Families website >

Quick Links


See all news

Spoken Stories with Felicity Goodman: What Now? What Next?

Storyteller, Writer and Community Artist Felicity Goodman shares spoken stories which reflect on the power of creativity. For our Family […]

Read the full article

TOGETHERFEST: Partnership working to engage diverse families

Tracy Linsley, Family Inclusion Officer at Tees Valley Museums, tells us how they used partnerships to engage diverse families during […]

Read the full article

Get our monthly newsletter