Learning Disability Wales team up with major UK band IDLES to increase access to live events for people with a learning disability

IDLES bassist Adam ‘Dev’ Devonshire has organised a star studded music and comedy livestream on 20 June to raise money and help attract new volunteers to an innovative project in Wales that pairs up adults with and without learning disabilities so they can attend live events together – after witnessing how the project has helped his partner’s auntie.

The event will be livestreamed from Exchange in Bristol on Sunday 20 June 2021 and will feature comedy from Stewart Lee, Seann Walsh, and Josh Weller, and music from Mclusky, Willie J Healey, TV Priest, Fenne Lily, DOGEYED and Wilderman.

There will also be a raffle with prizes from major acts, including The National, Supergrass, Sharon Van Etten and Mogwai, and a signed guitar from all the artists playing.

Tickets are available to purchase now for a suggested donation of £5 with an additional option to enter the raffle.

Money raised will go to Gig Buddies Cymru and starting a new Gig Buddies project in Bristol, where Dev lives.

The event will benefit Gig Buddies Cymru, run by charity Learning Disability Wales, who tackle loneliness and social isolation by matching people with a learning disability (and/or autism) with a volunteer Gig Buddy who shares the same hobbies and interests – whether that be music, sport, or anything that involves enjoying live events and culture.

IDLES bassist Dev said:

“After witnessing first-hand what vital and wonderful work Gig Buddies do, it has been an honour and a privilege for me to be working with them and raising awareness of the wonderful service that they provide. Music and live events provide us all with so much happiness and catharsis and everyone deserves to have that joy in their lives.

“The Cardiff chapter of Gig Buddies has recently expanded into North Wales and have rebranded as Gig Buddies Cymru and are now looking for a number of new volunteers and extra funding to help with this. Hopefully we can raise enough to provide them with what they need and then, fingers crossed, we’ll be able to also raise enough to then start a Bristol chapter of Gig Buddies. But that’s not ignoring the other chapters in the rest of the country, of course!”

Kai Jones, project coordinator with Gig Buddies Cymru, said:

“The pandemic has forced the whole country to experience the loneliness and isolation that many people with a learning disability face in their day to day lives. Gig Buddies is a simple concept that creates new friendships through shared interests, whether that’s going to a gig or the theatre, watching sport or visiting a museum, but it can have a powerful impact on someone’s life.

“We’re overwhelmed by the support we’ve had from Dev. During the pandemic we’ve been keeping people connected through online events and supporting people to meet outdoors whenever it has been safe. Now that restrictions are being lifted we are putting all our efforts into supporting new Gig Buddy friendships, and we need lots more volunteers to do this.”

  • Third Sector Support Wales
  • Welsh Government
  • Investing in Volunteers
  • Quality in Befriending
  • Cyber essentials
  • Cynnig Cymraeg
  • Cultural Competence Silver Award