Gig Buddy Profile – David.
David Briggs was our very first gig buddy – I asked him about how he heard about the project, leaning over a pool table having a chat whilst he had a pint of cider, amongst other friends he’s met over the 3 years he has been a gig buddy.
‘I signed up after hearing about gig buddies at ‘kiss my disco’’ David tells me. ‘Kiss My Disco’ is a learning disability led club night set up by ‘Stay Up late’ 5 years ago, where his housemate Dj’s. David often DJ’s there too. As well as this he is a drummer in a Brighton based heavy metal band ‘Zombie Crash’ who were featured in kerrang magazine last year. He also makes some great short films with his go pro in his spare time. He is a very talented guy. He has a love of computer games and a cheeky sense of humour. David also has aspergers, a form of Autism, which is a learning disability that affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relates to other people. Autism is often described as a ‘spectrum disorder’ because the condition affects people in many different ways and to varying degrees.
David has a mild form of this meaning he receives a few hours support each week with things such as money and food shopping, but mostly lives an independent life. This is great but means he needs support to access social activities in the evenings when support workers aren’t usually available to give him one to one support. Having a gig buddy has meant David has been attended a wide range of gigs and now has a network of friends he has met through the charity.
I asked David ‘What is the best gig you have ever been to? ‘Bring me the Horizon at the 02 in London.’ He replied. And the worst? ‘Wrong Stewart’ the Rod Stewart tribute band! He said it just wasn’t his kind of thing. But he went along anyway to meet friends and have a laugh – which he said is the best part of Gig buddies, ‘making friends.’ The project has helped David form really meaningful relationships not just with his gig buddy.
I first got to know David when I supported him go to Belguim to play at a music festival on 2014, and after that 10 hour bus journey we got to know each other really well! Since then we socialise regularly in Brighton but he also asked me to go with him to Krakow in Poland to visit Auschwitz and he has been to Glastonbury 3 times with Gig Buddies to work as a steward for ‘Attitude is everything’ helping on the accessible platforms.
And the most famous person he’s met? ‘Sam Smith backstage at Glastonbury when working as a steward. I got a photo with him too!’
As well as all this super cool stuff David worked as intern for gig buddies last summer and has been fantastic at co-facilitating our volunteer training sessions speaking first hand in how to support someone with a learning disability well.
David and Berhana both worked at interns for Gig Buddies.
Photo of Zombie Crash below © Matthew Bellringer