Friendship bracelets are back! Richmond Tan explains their origin

People have been telling me how much they miss the custom friendship bracelets we give out at Sean Carnage shows.

This Friday, September 16 at Oracle Tavern, the friendship bracelets are back!

We’ll be tying one on YOU at our incredible Friends & Family Reunion featuring Chaki the Funk Wizard, Dawn of Sequins, Dicso Bunny plus special guests including DJ Kyle Mabson. Show starts 8pm.

Get the full concert details here 

In honor of Chaki they will be a “Funky Frankenstein” green.

But what’s behind the bespoke wristbands?

Richmond Tan Raven Chacon Il Corral Sean Carnage Monday Nights

Richmond Tan has always been at the center of things. Especially at Monday Nights at Il Corral in the early Oughties.

Their originator, Richmond Tan, was—along with Jon San Nicolas—one of the prime movers behind the original Sean Carnage Monday Nights, a concert series that brought an astounding 1,100+ underground bands and performers to L.A. from 2005-2016.

READ: A decade of D.I.Y. now online: The complete Monday Night photos, dates & performers

Richmond Tan NYC Souvenir pop up Pride 2022

Richmond in 2022 at his Souvenir pop-up shop.

Nowadays Richmond keeps it creative in Philadelphia (and dozens of other places across the globe). He was kind enough to take time out to lay some history on us…

Back in 2005, you created the original handmade bracelets, didn’t you?
Yes, I did. I was working the door at the time and we needed a way to identify if you paid for entrance. Rather than a stamp which could wash off or fade from sweating, I thought a bracelet would be best but didn’t want one of those disposable paper bracelets.

How did you think of doing that?
Honestly, I tried to learn how to crochet when I was younger and never advanced past one line. It was a nice way to utilize a skill that wasn’t fully formed and thought it was perfect for what we needed.

Why did you feel that having handmade bracelets was important?
I thought it just added to the fun and set us apart from other shows these kids were going to.

What does the bracelet symbolize?
Towards the end, kids kept them on as a badge of honor by collecting them along the way. It was a mark to show how committed you were to these nights. I think I heard you mention some people still wear them. That is kinda crazy to me, but I love it.

Jon San Nicolas Richmond Tan Il Corral Sean Carnage Monday Nights

Jon San Nicolas & Richmond at the door of the original Monday Nights at Il Corral in L.A., circa 2005.

What technique did you use to create them?
It’s a crochet technique. The only difference is that I never used a crochet hook to do it, I just used my fingers.

It’s actually quite easy to make as it’s just a bunch of slip knots.

Richmond Tan friendship bracelets Sean Carnage Monday Nights

‘That bitch Nina’ was a fan of the bracelets, too.

How did people react when then first encountered the bracelets?
People always really liked them. In the beginning it surprised people. They were always like, “Cool! I get a bracelet?”

Did they keep coming back for more?
They did. The cool thing is we changed the color every week, so it became this thing to collect.

I like to think people were excited to see what color it was going to be, but that’s just me patting myself on the back.

You are a super creative person, how do you channel your creativity these days?
I work as a stylist in the fashion industry and I also run a pop-up project called Souvenir.

The styling work is my bread and butter and Souvenir is my passion project.

Richmond Tan Souvenir Philadelphia Pride 2022 friendship bracelets.

The 2022 evolution of Richmond’s bracelets—for Souvenir at Philadelphia Pride.

Souvenir recently used handmade bracelets as part of the Philly Pride celebration you curated. Please tell us about that?
The event was three full days of programming and we needed bracelets to grant people all access to things without waiting in long lines. I immediately thought of our Monday night bracelets.

We made them with artists in Mexico City. They are the fun traditional kind you pick up as a souvenir when you are traveling in Mexico. Instead of a name woven in it, we had them weave ‘SOUVENIR.’

What’s the best way for folks to stay informed of the cool stuff you’re doing?
Follow us on Insta! @_s_o_u_v_e_n_i_r_

Listen to a great podcast with Richmond

Learn how to make your own bracelets:

See you at the first show? Grab a friendship bracelet made just for you. This is going to be THE party.

Sean Carnage Fridays Oracle Tavern September 16 2022 Los Angeles

Join us at Oracle Tavern

8pm / $10 / 21+

1640 N. Spring, Los Angeles 90012

Follow me on IG & Twitter for updates

Check SEANCARNAGE.COM/SHOWS for more details

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