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.
The 5 Steps to being a gig buddy
Meet The Team
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
Participant and Volunteer Support
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
Central Coast 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
Funding and Sponsorship Coordinator
Favourite Music: Alt rock, Americana, Blues, Indie, Aussie
Favourite Venues: Thebarton Theatre (Adelaide), Enmore (Sydney)
Favourite band: Car Seat Headrest
First live music experience: Midnight Oil at the Apollo Stadium
What is the best band you have seen: Blur/Feist
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.
Frequently asked questions
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.
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.
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.