You may be thinking BAND ON! is the newest group on the scene, but it’s actually a campaign to implement a standardised ID checking system at events for 14+/16+. Tanyel Gumushan, a freelancer and student at Birmingham City University founded the campaign and I got the chance to catch up with her.

“BAND ON! is ultimately a campaign to protect independent venues by deterring the use of fake ID, stopping underage drinking and encouraging young people to engage with local music.”

The twenty year old is no stranger to gigs and devised a quick procedure of wristbands to safer the experience. “When a ticket is checked on entrance, so is ID. If ID is valid and proves a gig-goer is over 18, they receive a neon green, branded wristband. Under 18s or those without valid ID receive a neon pink, branded wristband.”

Sounds simple, right? “It’s a one check so that bar staff needn’t worry and drinks can’t pass hands!”

I asked Tanyel if her Music Industries degree has helped her to build the campaign? She responded with: “As part of our final year, we have to create a project. BAND ON! started out as that but has more become a full time ‘sort of’ job! So my studies taught me about independent venues and the problems they face; licensing, policies, costs. It helped me see just how interlinked everything is.”

With 40% of London’s grassroots venues closing in the last 10 years it’s no surprise that people want to keep them alive. Tanyel’s approach was somewhat different though.As a music journalist, and general music junkie, I go to gig after gig and noticed that across venues there isn’t a set way of ID being checked.”  Daft, I know.

“I started working in a venue on the bar and it was terrifying –checking ID after ID in dark light with swarming queues, I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right or who the drinks were actually going to. I spoke to other bar staff and the majority feared confrontation and worried about not being able to recognise fake ID.”

A massive aim for BAND ON! is to not just properly check ID but to encourage young people to engage with local music. “Council cuts have meant that many youth development and social projects have been forced to close or lessen the time/money spent, and Britain are among the worst in the world for underage drinking.”

The campaign is Midlands based whilst being trialed with the hope that BAND ON! will branch out. However all venues can run a free trial of the wristbands. The big launch of BAND ON! was revealed only on the 25th January and already have partnerships with The Cookie and ONEID4U. “The Cookie is my favourite venue, it’s a fiercely independent 14+ venue, so it’s great to have them on board. ONEID4U is a supplier of PASS cards; they provide proof of age cards to prove any age. They are becoming widely recognised and are also cheap where the details can’t be fraud or copied.” – Seems like the perfect partnership!

This project also has opportunities for writers, photographers, artists, and videographers whereby “anybody with a passion for music can submit to the blog. I hope that with more young people engaging with their local venues then that will build a safe, gig-loving community as a hub to all meet and have fun.”

To sum up this wonderful business idea, Tanyel has been accepted onto a yearlong business development programme. How did that come about? Well… “I got an email through to my uni email (which is weird because normally everything goes to spam!) so I applied. I was then asked to pitch and be interviewed and luckily they liked BAND ON! The first step is an intensive boot camp to get a business plan together.”

Thank you to Tanyel for taking the time to talk to me here at iCov, you can find BAND ON! here at:

Twitter: @bandoncampaign

Facebook: @BANDONcampaign



Casey Baughan

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