A MUSIC festival for bands with members who have disabilities or learning difficulties will launch later this month.

The unique Rock House Festival will bring together a number of bands for an all-day musical celebration that breaks down barriers and allows musicians with or without learning disabilities to play together in front of a live audience.

One of the acts will be metal band Zombie Crash, a group whose members have a range of learning difficulties including Asperger syndrome and autism.

Zombie Crash’s lead guitarist Ryan O’Donovan, 26, from Uckfield, said: “The festival really is a great idea and is there to assist in getting people with learning difficulties and disabilities more stage time.

“It is all about helping us reach a wider audience and showcase our talent. I started playing the guitar when I was 16 and really enjoyed how it allowed for more creativity. We have been together for about eight years now with some of the members joining after we started.

“Since then we have really developed as a group, we’ve been writing and performing our own songs.

“The line-up for the festival is a big and brilliant selection.

“It will be a wonderful showcase event.”

Eight years ago Constant Flux promoter Richard Phoenix and musician Tom Cook started a band night with a difference.

It was born out of a desire by the learning disabled musicians they worked with to regularly play and perform in front of a mixed audience in their home town.

Now The Rock House has become a monthly fixture at Brighton venues Westhill Hall and The Green Door Store, with bands such as Joy Rides, Witching Waves and Curst Sons playing alongside Catherine O’Rourke, Beat Express and Dancing Rock Queens.

The launch of the Rock House Festival is a celebration of the success of these band nights, allowing more bands to get involved and play in front of a larger audience.

Mr O’Donovan added: “I am really looking forward to this next stage of The Rock House events. It was thought up by two great guys who have grown this event from nothing and now they have a whole festival to show for it.”

The festival is supported by Carousel, a learning disability-led arts charity that helps learning disabled artists develop and manage their creative lives.

It will be held from 1pm until 10pm on Saturday, July 29 at The Green Door Store, off Trafalgar Street and under Brighton railway station. All-day tickets cost £8 with half-day tickets £5.