FAQ's

For frequently asked questions regarding The World's Big Sleep Out, please read below. 

  • What is a Sleep Out?


    A sleep out is a fundraising challenge that takes place outdoors, over night - without a tent - to raise money and raise awareness for the issue of homelessness. Sleep out events are not intended to mimic or replicate what it is like to be homeless but instead offer a small insight into what it may be like for one night.

  • What is the money going towards?


    The money that is raised through The World’s Big Sleep Out will be split 50/50 between local homelessness charities and international organisations that are helping some of the 68.5 million people that are displaced globally through war, natural disaster, and poverty. To find out more information on the partners that we are working with and how we intend to support local homelessness charities, by going to https://www.bigsleepout.com/helping-1-million-people.

  • Who is behind it?

    The World’s Big Sleep Out is founder by Dr Josh Littlejohn MBE who is the co-founder of the Scottish based charity, Social Bite.

    The World’s Big Sleep Out is born from Social Bite’s event Sleep in the Park which has raised a total of $10 million in two years to help end homelessness in Scotland. You can read more about Social Bite and Sleep in the Park at www.social-bite.co.uk.

  • How can I take part?


    There are 2 ways that you can take part in The World’s Big Sleep Out: you can either attend an official event (you can find details of these events here) or you can Host-Your-Own event for your friends, family, colleagues or community group. To find out more information, download our information booklet at www.bigsleepout.com/host-your-own-booklet or register to organise an event here: https://www.bigsleepout.com/host-a-sleep-out.

  • When is The World’s Big Sleep Out?

    The World’s Big Sleep Out is taking place on Saturday 7th of December 2019 in cities and towns across the world. You should check with the event organiser if you are attending an official event to find out specific timings.

  • Can I buy a ticket?

    It isn’t possible to buy a ticket for our official events: it is only possible to receive a ticket by signing up to an event and fundraising for the challenge. The initial donation required to attend an official event is $20 USD.

  • Are there any age restrictions?


    No one under the age of 16 is permitted to attend any of the official events. This is for health and safety reasons. If you are under 18 years of age, you must be attending with an adult over the age of 21.

  • Can I buy alcohol or bring alcohol with me?


    No. Due to the dangers of consuming alcohol and being exposed to cold winter conditions overnight, there will be no bar facilities at the events and strictly no alcohol can be brought into event arenas.

  • What equipment will I need / what do I need to bring?


    Depending on what country you are in, the equipment that you will need to bring will vary. Generally, you will need to bring warm and waterproof clothing, a sleeping bag that is appropriate for the overnight temperatures in your town or city, a hat and a pair of gloves. If you are in a warmer climate, you should dress appropriately and bring an appropriate sleeping bag. You may also wish to bring a camping mat to make things more comfortable. You should contact your specific event organiser for their recommended kit list.

  • Can I bring a tent / will I be sleeping in a tent?


    No. The challenge will be to sleep outside without any cover. Participants will be sleeping with only your sleeping bag and plastic sheet for protection. Many people around the country have to do this every night, could you do it once?

  • Who is organising the sleep out events?


    The World’s Big Sleep Out Trust will be organising the headline events that are taking place in Trafalgar Square, London and in Times Square, New York. We are also organising the official event that is taking place in Edinburgh, Scotland. All other events are being organised independently by local city governments, homelessness charities, or (in the case of Host-Your-Own event) by individuals or small groups. Events are the sole responsibility of the individual organisations/people that are putting on an event but The World’s Big Sleep Out team will be offering assistance and guidance.

  • Do I need to pay to sign up?

    If you are registering to take part in an official event (please note: registration opens from September), you must pay a fee of $20. This is to help cover the overhead costs involved in running the events. Half of this money will be reimbursed to individual event organisers and the other half will go to The World’s Big Sleep Out Trust.

    For example, if your local homelessness charity is putting on an official event, they will receive 50% of the total sign up fees that are paid by those registering to attend their event.

    If you are organising or attending a Host-Your-Own event, there is no sign up fee to pay.

  • Is there a minimum amount of money that I need to raise?


    There is no minimum fundraising for official events - we simply ask that you raise as much as possible!

    If you are organising a Host-Your-Own event and if you would like to support a local charity of your choice with 50% of the event’s fundraising, your event must raise at least $250 in total. If your event raises less than this, The World’s Big Sleep Out Trust and UNICEF USA will decide on the distribution of your funds to a range of projects and causes tackling homelessness and displacement.

  • What if there is bad weather?

    Official events in New York, London, and Edinburgh: weather conditions will be monitored in the week leading up to the events and forecasts reported via our website and social media. You must dress appropriately for an outdoor winter event. If rain is forecast, waterproof clothing and a plastic sheet to protect your sleeping bag are essential. Only extreme weather conditions would result in event cancellation and this decision would be made in consultation with local authority public safety and emergency services.

    For all other events, you should contact them directly to find out specific information.

  • I have specific questions about the event that I am attending - who should I contact?

    If you are attending an official event, you should contact the relevant event organisers directly. This will be the city government or charity.

    If you are attending a Host-Your-Own event, you should contact the event organiser.

    If you are attending the London, New York, or Edinburgh event and you cannot find the answer(s) to your question(s) here, you can contact us at [email protected] and we will aim to get back to you within 24 hours.

  • How long are the bands playing for?

    The artists performing at the show will each be performing a stripped back acoustic set, with the headliner performing for approx. 35-40mins

  • What do I get if I am organising a Host-Your-Own event?

    When you register to Host-Your-Own sleep out event, you will get:

    •Fundraising materials and resources

    •An online fundraising page where everything raised can be easily tracked

    •VT package sent in advance with a message and bedtime story from Will Smith and Dame Helen Mirren, that can be shown at your event

    •Detailed guidance on how to organise an event logistically and to maximise fundraising

  • What do I get if I decide to host an official event?

    If you would like to host an official event, please contact Erin Culley directly at [email protected]

    If you would like more information on hosting an official event, you can read our proposal booklet here

  • Do I need to fundraise?

    There is no minimum target for fundraising but we do ask everyone to fundraise as much as possible as it is a sleep out challenge.

    You should aim to raise a minimum of $250 but depending on your country, you may wish to aim higher or lower than this.