The Stay Up Late campaign was an idea launched during the making of ‘Heavy Load’ in 2007. The band at the centre of the film found that disabled people often had to leave their gigs before they started playing, because of the inflexibilities of staff rotas and policies in residential homes. In response they recorded a song, lobbied MPs and launched a nationwide campaign to highlight the obstacles placed in the way of disabled people trying to have a social life, and to bring about some changes.
Six years later, the campaign has spawned gig nights across the UK, and the creation of a charity to support social activities for people with learning disabilities, which has now employed its first member of staff. Last month, they launched Gig Buddies, a scheme to support people with learning disabilities to get out to gigs and events.
If you’re interested in taking part, Gig Buddies is recruiting volunteers and people with learning disabilities in Sussex. To find out more visit Gig Buddies online at https://www.gigbuddies.org.uk/
Stay Up Late hope to make the scheme nationwide in the future.