Fan projects have always been a huge part of fandom culture. A large-scale show of affection reinforces the bond between the fans and the artists. The projects allow us to show just how much we care about our favourite people and chosen family within the fandom. The project that I’m spreading is aimed at bringing the fans together to spread love (and beads).
I’m Lindsey, but people online call me MK (originating from MamaKahuna, being a fan of @KingKahuna_ ) and I’ve both organized and participated in several fan projects. From the 5 Seconds of Summer ‘wildflower project’ to organizing the rainbow lights during ‘Love Of My Life’ at Harryween 2023, I’ve gravitated more and more towards ensuring that there is always something for fans to participate in.
My current organizational venture is to launch the Louie Bracelet Trade Project for the Faith In The Future world tour. If you haven’t already seen it on Twitter (@FITF_BeadTrade) this project is a little different from other fan projects you may have heard of. This project is by fans for fans. As we have all experienced and/or witnessed in one way or another, the One Direction and specifically Louis Tomlinson fandom has a special familial quality to it. Whether you’re a new fan or have been here since 2010, there is no doubt that these are some of the kindest and most lovely people around.
The goal of this project is to have fans bring bracelets to their FITF show and trade them with other fans. The idea is that people will make these bracelets and trade them with friends they make at the show and have something small to remember the day by. The reason I chose to focus on bracelets is because beads and string are something that many people have access to, and if not they can be found in dollar stores for cheap. I really would like people to participate if they are able, especially because you walk away with something that helped you approach other fans and costs less than a $90 hoodie.
I originally got the idea from the first LTWT, when in exchange for handing out pride flags, another fan handed me one of the official tour bracelets from Seattle (this was at the Vancouver show). After realizing that these small gestures can mean so much to someone, and travel from show to show, the seed for a much larger idea began to sprout. I was on a video call with some of the people over at Mania Passion Fics (@mania_fics) when I began the process of putting the project together. I created the Twitter account and got to work making the kind of bracelets that I would want to trade for. I included phrases Louis says, song titles and lyrics, and just some silly ones.
Overall, I think that this kind of project is something that will bring the fans together in a wholesome way. As the tour goes on, I intend to post and share photos that people send in with their beautiful creations and what they trade them for. If fans who intend to go to several shows take bracelets from location to location, these will be some pretty well-traveled beads. When we look at similar projects, like the one for the Taylor Swift Eras Tour, we can see the joy that these small gestures bring to people. I think Louis would love to see us getting creative and making friends within the community. Plus, wouldn’t it be cool to see a bracelet you made and traded with a new friend end up being traded in a different country?