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Disco Isn’t Dead

Story: Brooke Jacobson | Photo: Bruce Redman
Published On : Apr 24, 2024
Disco Isn’t Dead
The 1980s might have been a time of great music and questionable fashion choices, but without doubt the only place to be on a Saturday night was the Blue Light Disco.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the classic underage night out, and there are some special events planned to mark the occasion.

Vice-president of the Queensland Blue Light Association, Leanne Eggins, said the discos held a special place in many people’s memories.

“They offered a unique blend of music, socialisation, and a sense of community which leaves them with some cherished memories of their youth,” she said.

“And as there was police supervision, this reassured parents that it was a safe place for their child to attend.”

The concept of the Blue Light Disco came from the police service themselves, as they wanted to engage young people in a safe environment.

“The first official Blue Light Disco was held at the Albert Waterways Community Hall on the Gold Coast on July 26, 1984, which attracted 219 youths,” Leanne said.

“During the 90’s we boomed, with over two million youth participating in our supervised events across the state.”

To celebrate Blue Light Week from May 20 to 26, there will be a Blue Light Disco at the Zillmere PCYC on May 24, starting at 6pm. This event will be for students from Prep to Year 7 and comes at a genuine 1980s entry price of just $2.

“Our second event is going to be our biggest yet and to celebrate this milestone, we are holding a totally rad ‘Back to the 80’s’ shindig on Saturday, July 20 at the iconic Tivoli in Fortitude Valley,” Leanne said.

“This is not only a celebration of our achievement but also a fundraiser, and the proceeds will allow us to continue to deliver early intervention/crime prevention programs across Queensland.”

While the classic Blue Light Disco is still alive and well in regional areas, the association has shifted to other events in recent years, to keep up with the change in teenagers.

“We saw a decline in the popularity of discos when the landscape of social interactions among kids changed with the introduction of social media and smartphones, so we looked for new ways to positively engage with young people,” Leanne said.

“We’ve introduced movie nights, laser tag, sports and family events, as well as youth development and leadership camps.”

For more information about the Blue Light Disco celebration events, search Facebook for Qld Blue Light, or head to bluelightqld.org

Blue Light Disco
Friday, 24 May, 6pm-8pm
Zillmere PCYC
340 Zillmere Road, Zillmere.