So far in our short Sydney existence we’ve received requests from Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth for the Gig Buddies initiative to set up interstate. Not wanting to leave New South Wales out of the picture, Byron Bay and Coffs Harbour have also been on the phone.
While such calls indicate a definite demand for a project such as ours (and we’re confident there is room in both the Northern Territory and Tasmania), British charity Stay Up Late – the brains behind the original Gig Buddies model, in collaboration with the University of Brighton, has evidence that backs up the rhetoric with reasons.
They discovered that the issue of inflexible support aside (most support workers tend to knock off long before the night itself gets going), other reasons holding back someone with a disability attending a live music event include: a feeling that it wouldn’t be safe; having nobody to go out with; reliable transport; not knowing how to find out what’s on in the local area; not having the confidence to get out there and that age-old issue of not accessing support in the evenings with a feeling (and often a reality) that it wouldn’t be safe to go out alone.
The research concluded a need for better disability support, with a focus on meeting new people, enjoying quality time with people who aren’t paid to be there, finding out more about events happening locally (because every event is an event for people with a learning disability if they are able to get there), and to get over the practical obstacles to going out.
Einstein was once quoted as saying: “If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts.”
The aforementioned facts fit the Gig Buddies theory, leaving nothing to be changed: In line with the Brighton belief, Gig Buddies Sydney is here to address all listed concerns, determined to bring back the night and give people with a disability an opportunity to lead an active social life. Even Einstein would agree with us.
Gig Buddies Sydney Social Media Coordinator