Stay Up Late

Stay Up Late was started as a grass roots campaign by the inclusive punk band ‘Heavy Load’. The band became tired of their fans leaving their gigs early due to their support workers working inflexible shifts, typically finishing at 10pm.

The band were the subjects of an award winning feature documentary (‘Heavy Load’ Metfilm) which appeared on UK and US TV and in cinemas. This enabled the Stay Up Late campaign to reach a huge audience and the campaign turned in to a charity in 2011 to enable the work to continue. Heavy Load retired in 2012 after 15 years of anarchy and mayhem.

The charity’s work focuses on:

  • volunteering through its innovative Gig Buddies scheme matching up people with learning disabilities with volunteers through a shared love of the same music so they can attend mainstream gigs together
  • social franchising of Gig Buddies to enable other organisations to partner up through
  • advocacy – running sessions to enable people with learning disabilities to understand their rights around the kind of support they should expect to receive to enable them to live the life they want
  • training and campaigning – running workshops and training sessions to enable support providers to think about how they can change their work practices to ensure their support truly meets the needs of individuals and enables them to enjoy active social lives
  • inspiring people about the work of learning disabled artists through our Wild Things project, showcasing original music by people with learning disabilities from around the world
  • events such as our regular ‘Kiss My Disco’ club nights, run by DJs with learning disabilities and open to the general public. These focus on creating a relaxing atmosphere where all are welcome and of course great music.
  • Gig Buddies

  • Gig Buddies at Glastonbury Festival

  • Heavy Load in Trafalgar Square, London

  • Wild Things Juke Box

Contact details

Paul Richards

Stay Up Late
9 Russell Place


Wild Things Juke Box

Duration: n/a
Number of people on road: n/a
Freight: Freight necessary

Freight details:

The juke boxes are self-contained in flight cases (about 3 ft high and 2 ft across)


The Wild Things juke boxes are three installations funded through the Arts Council. Each contains a iPad featuring over 100 original compositions by musicians with learning disabilities from around the world.

They also feature a sculpture of a rhino head created by visual artists with and without learning disabilities which act as headphone stands and also bring to life the logo we use for the project. Each sculpture is crafted from a different material; gaffer tape, felt and smashed up vinyl records.

Wrap-around work

Workshops and training sessions for support workers, people with learning disabilities and anyone with an interest in this area of work.

These can take many shapes and are tailored for each audience, e.g. punk song writing workshops for school children, workshops discussions for professionals, discussion groups and creative sessions for people with learning disabilities.