There’s a lot that can be said about the problem of loneliness for older people in the Western World (1). There seems to be a new and innovative solution, however, as Tea Party Raves are growing in popularity.
The Posh Club in South London has been organizing these rave parties for the elderly and they include much more than just lukewarm tea and talking cones (2). Instead, there’s music blasting from the speakers and alcohol on the tables!
The parties are a weekly cabaret-style event and it’s created by the sibling duo Annie Bowden and Simon Casson. The two created these parties to encourage seniors to socialize and have fun after they saw their own 80-year-old mother suffer from loneliness for years.
The first “tea party rave” they organized was a simple gathering in their mother’s living room, however, after its success, Annie and Simon decided to find a new venue.
Organized at the Posh Club as of today, the parties aim to build “a community of healthier, happier older folk,” and to encourage intergeneration connections.
Simon isn’t new to event organizing either as he’s the founder of Duckie, “a post-gay independent arts outfit” that puts “highbrow performance in backstreet pubs and lowbrow performance in posh theaters.” (3).
Thanks to Simon’s and Annie’s experience and dedication, no two raves are alike. Instead, every week they use art and performance to create new and exciting entertainment for their elderly friends.
Given the grave statistics about loneliness in the UK, the U.S., and elsewhere around the world, initiatives like this one can be literal life-savers for a lot of people.