Gig Buddies at the 2023 Edinburgh Festivals

Posted 10/10/2023

August is festival season in Edinburgh, and Gig Buddies always make the most of it. Here's what we got up to at the 2023 Edinburgh Festivals.

Gig Buddies aims to enable adults with a learning disability and autistic adults to access events they love, meet new people, and develop their confidence in getting out in their local community. In working to achieve these goals, we happen to be very lucky to have the world’s largest arts festival on our doorstep every August. And what a month we had!

This August saw us program our busiest social calendar ever, running 21 group social events in only 3 weeks. As well as returning as a beneficiary of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s ‘Fringe Days Out’ scheme (which saw us receive close to £2000 worth of ticket vouchers), we returned once again to some fantastic contemporary music gigs from the Edinburgh International Festival, and also attended our first ever Edinburgh Book Festival and PBH Free Fringe events as a group.


Amongst the many shows we saw, some favourites were Rosie Jones, Police Cops The Musical, Jake Bugg, The Black Blues Brothers, a midnight socials to see jazz funk covers of the Star Wars soundtrack, and a book talk on Scottish history my Alistair Moffat.

‘The Black Blues Brothers were incredible! My highlight of the year!’ – Sarah, Gig buddies Edinburgh

‘I’ve liked Frankie Boyle since the 00’s when he was on Mock the Week. He was funnier at his own show than he was on that!’ – Pete, Gig Buddies Edinburgh

In total, Gig Buddies gave away 226 tickets to 50 Gig Buddies members and 23 Gig Buddies volunteers across Edinburgh, West Lothian, and Glasgow. At the end of the month, we surveyed our members to find out what they saw, how they found it, and what impact Gig Buddies has on how they attend the festivals. We found the 94% of members saw something new this year, with 83% agreeing that Gig Buddies helps them to attend the festivals.

‘Group events, info on carer tickets, and voucher codes all helped me access events.’ – Gig Buddies Edinburgh Member.

Two of our core outcomes are to enable people to develop social networks, and to feel more confident accessing events in their local community, so we were delighted to find that 88% of members met new people at this years Festival events, while 95% now feel more confident in accessing the Edinburgh Festivals.

Click this button if you’d like to volunteer for Gig Buddies in Edinburgh, West Lothian, or Glasgow, and enable someone to access events you both love.

Click this button if you think you’d benefit from being a Gig Buddies member, or know someone who might.

This image is an infographic and the heading says Gig Buddies with Thera at the Edinburgh 2023 Festivals. Some of the statistics listed include 95% of members felt more confident getting out to festivals, 83% of members say Gig Buddies with Thera helps them attend the festivals and thanks to four festivals twenty-one social events were visited too in one month. There are many more statistics listed and there are three photos of members at Gig Buddies smiling at the events they visited.