Also known as the Sober Raver, Bradley Gunn is autistic and has a passion for music. Here, we get to know a little about him, his love for raving and how he’s inspired other autistic people to break out of their comfort zones…

You’ve earned a name as the Sober Raver. Tell us how that came about?

I dance at events sober and I publish videos on my social media channels. I like to think that the content I put out there makes people smile and spreads a positive message. I did not expect anything to come from it at all, but it did.

When did you start raving and how did you get into it?

I started raving in December 2013. I remember it being a totally different environment than what I was used to. The music was always the main focus of the nights and all the people attending were really friendly and welcoming. I kept on going back until it became a weekly thing and I’ve been going along every weekend since!

Do you suffer from any anxiety with your autism?

For me, I would say social anxiety is a part of growing up autistic – so yes. Obviously, this can make engaging with people more complicated than it needs to be.

Does your passion for music and raving alleviate this anxiety?

Yes! Over the past few years, I’ve done loads of travelling and dancing at lots of different events and it’s helped my overall confidence – in all parts of my life – increase significantly.

Have you inspired any other autistic people to get into raving or the music scene?

I can’t give an exact figure on how many people I’ve inspired, but my social media has had some effect on the lifestyle choices other autistic people make. It’s encouraging them to find a place where they can express themselves in an environment that isn’t as judgmental as the everyday world.

What are your tips for those who want to support autistic people at gigs, nightclubs and festivals?

I’d tell them to learn more about the condition so that during music events, if they see someone acting in a way not familiar to them, they will understand that person could be autistic and therefore accept them for who they are.

What do you wish the public understood about autism?

Too often, I hear people describe autism as a mental ‘disorder’ with a focus on the negatives. Life can be difficult but I try to focus on the enhancements my autism gives me. It makes me complex and advanced, so I’d like the public to appreciate the power of it.

To learn more about how a sudden change of plan can impact an autistic person like Laura, watch our new film.

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