Gig Buddies

Stay Up Late is a charity that was set up to ensure that person-centred planning for people with learning disabilities and autism truly reflected what an individual wanted to do in their life. In particular, they were concerned that people with learning disabilities and autism, weren’t able to Stay Up Late and do the things so many people, who don’t need support, take for granted. 

Gig Buddies is their initiative that partners individuals with learning disabilities with a volunteer to attend a gig together. It’s about enabling people with learning disabilities to have people in their lives who aren’t paid to be there, through matching them up with a volunteer ‘buddy’ who commits to at least one gig per month. We’re working with Gig Buddies in England, Scotland and Wales to put on gigs, with and/or for this community. 

On 16th May 2021, Gig Buddies Glasgow and venue SWG3 Warehouse delivered a gig featuring artists Sensatronic, Favor P££ch and Ruairidh Whitmarsh. Some of the performers programmed are disabled, living with Asperger Syndrome, Autism, Epilepsy and being Registered Blind. At least 40% of the audience were disabled, neurodivergent, autistic, had a learning disability or long-term impairment impacting daily life. This meant this gig was truly with and for this community. 

On 3rd May 2021, Be Yourself was held at at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth, England. Having partnered Gig Buddies Portsmouth with the Wedgewood Rooms, they delivered a live show featuring artists Phil Vinall, Steve Kinglsey, Amba Tremain. A second edition of this event took place on 28th March 2023 with Hannah Clark and Steve Kingsley.