The evolution of Club LATE
7 years of #InclusiveClubbing
LATE – Scotland’s first fully inclusive club night, launched on Tuesday 10th of April 2012 at The Arches in Glasgow. The night was an instant success with over 200 people attending. It was clear that there was a demand for inclusive clubbing (#InclusiveClubbing).
LATE was launched by C-Change Scotland and has since continued to be run by the organisations dating and friendship agency project dates-n-mates.
The idea of LATE was to hold a genuinely inclusive club night promoted to people with learning disabilities though open to all.
For four hours on the 10th of April 2012, the divide between ‘abled’ and ‘disabled’ was all but gone, as people with and without disabilities danced, drank and simply enjoyed themselves and the company of each other. The only difference from a regular club night was a big presence of staff and volunteers to make sure everyone was safe and to encourage people on their own to meet others and feel included.
DJ’s playing on the night were with and without a learning disability. Possibly no one noticed, and that was fine.
LATE was perhaps another milestone in Scotland showing a fundamental shift in how our society views people with learning disabilities. It was now a decade after the closure of large institutions such as Lennox Castle Hospital where males and females were purposely segregated. Where a night out for people with a learning disability meant a few cans of cola for a few hours in a brightly lit hall and some very cheesy tunes (and this was the norm for some time after). Where constant and often over the top ‘risk assessments’ on individuals meant a normal life was not really an option.
Over the next 5 years dates-n-mates went on to hold a further 15 Club LATE nights. Though the venue changed a number of times after the closure of the The Arches, the night continued successfully.
In 2018 dates-n-mates went into partnership with Include Me 2 Club to launch a monthly club LATE. This took place on Thursday 19th of April 2018 – almost exactly 6 years on from the launch of the night.
dates-n-mates members had been calling for a more regular night for some time and it was time to answer that call.
This has opened club LATE up to many more people who can now benefit from this inclusive clubbing experience. We hope many more relationships (friendships, romances and love) will be formed as a result and people will have more confidence to try other night time activities on offer in the wider world. Evidence shows that opportunities to build friendships and relationships can significantly improve quality of life and independence for all who are able to enjoy a typical night out.
Capital FM DJ Garry Spence helped us launch the night almost 7 years ago and continues to support LATE with a regular slot. Garry told us:
“I’ve been playing for LATE since the very start and I’ve loved it since that first night. I can’t overstate the impact this has on the lives of people who’d otherwise be excluded from night venues in Scotland. It’s always a brilliant turn out, always a feel-good event and allows access to clubs for everyone regardless of their ability or mobility.”
Keep up to date with all things LATE by following the Club LATE facebook page:facebook.com/clublateglasgow
Hashtags we like:
#InclusiveClubbing #ClubLATE #StayUpLate