About the Gig Buddies project
Gig Buddies Sydney is an initiative of ACL Disability Services which is a registered Not For Profit organisation committed to promoting the rights of people with learning disabilities to live the lifestyle of their choosing.
Going out to see bands, clubbing, or seeing friends is part of everyday life for many people. However, if you have a learning disability you may need support to do this. We have found many people with learning disabilities aren’t able to lead full and active social lives because their support workers finish at 10pm and therefore need to leave events at 9pm.
We believe that people with learning disabilities in Sydney have the right to stay up late, meet new people, go to events and have some fun.
Favourite Music: Trip Hop, Acoustic Folk
Favourite Venue: The Royal Albert Hall
Favourite artist: Everything but the Girl
First live music experience: At school in New Zealand I saw a band called The Fourmyula
What is the best band you have seen: Paul Simon - Graceland tour / Carlos Santana - Abraxas tour
Favourite Music: Pop , Rock and Electronic Dance
Favourite Venue: The Enmore , The Boiler room from Big Day Out back in the day
Favourite artist: Above and Beyond, Pink, The XX ,Queen and Linkin Park
First live music experience: When I was very young ...Girlfriend at the Sydney Entertainment Centre they were the Australian version of the Spice Girls.
What is the best band you have seen: The Rolling Stones at Sydney Olympic Stadium
Funding & Sponsorship Coordinator
Favourite Music: Alt rock, Americana, Blues, Indie, Aussie, Brit Pop
Favourite Venues: Factory Theatre and The Enmore
Favourite band: The Milk Carton Kids
First live music experience: Midnight Oil at the Apollo Stadium
What is the best band you have seen: Blur/Feist
Central Coast Hub Coordinator
Favourite Music: House, Electronica, Indie, Jazz
Favourite Venue: Timbuk2, Bristol
Favourite band: Ame
First live music experience: Carl Cox playing in a grungy warehouse in Exeter
What is the best band you have seen: Underworld, during my first ever festival (Creamfields, UK) was pretty special
Favourite Music: A bit of everything – but at the moment I’m big on soul, jazz, world, and alt-rock
Favourite Venue: The Tote (Melbourne) or The Vanguard (Sydney)
Favourite artist: At the moment – 30/70 Collective
First live music experience: Madness at the Birmingham NEC.
What is the best band you have seen: Paul McCartney at QUDOS Arena in Sydney, but Underoath at Enmore Theatre playing their first two albums in full was also pretty great.
West Sydney Hub Coordinator
Favourite Music: RnB and Hip Hop
Favourite Venue: GIANTS Stadium in Olympic Park
Favourite Artist: Ashanti, Akon, Shaggy
First live music experience: RnB Fridayz Live
What is the best artist you have seen: Ashtani
Greater Western Sydney Hub Coordinator
Favourite Music: A bit of everything!
Favourite Artist: Currently its Lizzo
First Live Music Experience: I went to the Vans Warped Tour when I was in my mid-teens, The Big Day Out and my first concerts were Robbie Williams, Coldplay and the Black-Eyed Peas.
Favourite Venue: The Factory Theatre and Enmore Theatre.
What is the best band you have ever seen? Muse were fantastic! Also U2 with Jay-Z as a special guest.
Southern Sydney Hub Coordinator
Favourite Music: RnB, rock, pop, jazz
Favourite Venue: Enmore Theatre
Favourite Artist: Currently, it’s Matt Corby
First live music experience: Seeing Matt Corby at Enmore
What is the best artist you have seen: Daniel Caesar: it was an incredibly intimate show and everyone knew every word to all of his songs, which made it so special.
The Soul Fly Buddies
User-led Advisory Team
We are an advisory group of participants set up to oversee and advise the Gig Buddies project. We catch up monthly and help shape the Gig Buddies project going forward.
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Where is the Gig Buddies project?
Click on markers on the map below to see places and links to project websites
(Australia and the UK)
Can you provide a volunteer for a one-off gig?No. Gig Buddies Sydney is all about developing longterm friendships and expanding an individual’s social circles. Therefore, our matched buddies and volunteers are encouraged to catch up for a gig or event at least once a month for 12 months or longer*. Some paired-up buddies have been catching up for over 5 years!! 😀
Who decides on the buddy?The team at Gig Buddies Sydney interviews everyone who gets involved in the project. This enables us to make an informed decision about who to match with who. Music tastes, hobbies, personal interests, age, gender and locality are just some of the factors we take into consideration when matching buddies with volunteers.
You’ve found me a buddy... what happens next?The participant and volunteer will then be introduced to each other*, after which a staff member from the Gig Buddies Sydney team will join them on their first gig. Participants and volunteers are also offered ongoing support and advice from the Gig Buddies Sydney team. *volunteers must complete an NDIS Worker Check, an NDIS Worker Orientation Module, have two reference checks, and attend volunteer training.
What if the pairing doesn’t work out?That’s totally fine. If it doesn’t work out we’ll offer support to see if there’s something we can do - and that may include finding a new buddy.
Is Gig Buddies a Not-For-Profit project?Yes. Gig Buddies is a not-for-profit project. All monthly NDIS charges go towards running the project. Most of our group social events are free, and we only charge if there is a cost involved such as entry tickets, venue hire, transport. If a company donates or gives us discounted tickets, we pass on the savings to the participants and volunteers. (When buddies go to events with their volunteers outside of our group events, they pay for their own tickets.) The project is run by the registered charity Assisted Community Living Limited (trading as ACL Disability Services). ACL Disability Services is a not-for-profit organisation that was set up over 50 years ago to support adults with mild to moderate learning disability.