Over the past few years, the mental health advocate and counseling center TELL has put on 17 “Band Night” events. As they get ready for their next musical extravaganza, Band Night #18 on May 7, they’ve added a new challenge to pull off for the night. Organizers have chosen four cities for an evening that will feature dozens of bands performing at nearly a dozen different venues.
Many of TELL’s events are meant to bring awareness to a specific topic, and previous ones have focused on women’s rights, anti-bullying, and depression. The upcoming Band Night is meant to raise awareness for the fight against stigmas for those seeking out mental health support. To find out more about their latest project, we asked TELL’s Nathan Gildart (also a band member of The Complaints Department) to elaborate on their upcoming Band Night.
“This one is ‘Shattering Stigma’, emphasizing the need to end stigmatizing individuals seeking someone to talk to about their concerns.” TELL is no stranger to big nights featuring many groups: they’ve been putting on four Band Nights each year, and for the last two spring events, they’ve extended out to multiple venues, but this is the first time they’ve stretched out to multiple cities.
As Gildart explains, “this is the biggest I’ve planned”; however, TELL has found plenty of support from local and international artists and volunteers to assist in the fund raising event.”People want to help, and many of them have their own separate events in support of people in need or a specific NPO. It’s an incredible community that shows the inherent kindness people possess.” Dozens of bands, some of which have played on previous Band Nights, will be participating in the performances in Tokyo, Kobe, and Osaka.
TELL got its start in Tokyo, where they see patients daily and get phone calls via their hotline. Branching out to other prefectures has been a long-time goal for them; this Band Night will mark the first one outside of Tokyo, making it an important milestone for them, and a great opportunity for those in need of support. “When a Kansai office was being planned we thought it would be good to expand the event to Kansai [too]. Jennifer Wint greatly assisted us in making it possible.”
On May 7, 11 venues in four cities (Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka, ad Kyoto), will be participating in Band Night. How has TELL partnered up with venues around the country? Gildart has an answer for that one, too: “For the past few years we’ve had What The Dickens, Hobgoblin, Ruby Room, Gamuso, The Black Sheep, and The King George Pub (Omiya) support many Band Nights. The Kansai venues are now participating and in Tokyo we’ve happily added The Pink Cow and Crawfish.” Most of these partnerships came about thanks to “an army of TELL volunteers” and the bands joined in through references and word of mouth. “Networking has been crucial in making all of this happen.”
This the full list of cities and venues arranging their own Band Night alongside TELL, along with their respective line-ups:
- What The Dickens – Last of the Mojitos, The Speshulls, Tokyo Cover and the Bootleg Affair, Strawberry Jam, Woad Wocket
- Hobgoblin (Shibuya) – Ian Gronow, nature airliner, Mickey Acorn, Mana Hardcore, Grant Rolls, *MC: Ian Gronow
- Ruby Room – Los Yoyosiguiris, Curry Ramen, Rob de Band, San Danesins, Negative Zero
- The Pink Cow – Misoshiru Family, The INAGEYA, The Complaints Department, Goood Things, The Oyajis, *MC: Nate Gildart
- Crawfish – Haru, The Flint Hearts, Sawas Phool, The Dave Juteau Band, Arthur Pentameter, *MC: John McGowan
- Bar IZNT – L.W. George, Tender Armstrong, Alcohol Apology, Okan
- Murphy’s Irish Pub – Dan Kane, Flashback
- The Blarney Stone (Shinsaibashi) – Asiabrown, DJAMRA, Soul to Soul, Ichigo Ichie
- Slinky Tips
- Adam Bretherick
(You can read up on the bands that will be playing here: https://sites.google.com/site/bandnightfortell/artist-band-bios)
There is no cover charge or entry fee for any of the venues or performances, but TELL encourages and accepts all donations to fund future projects, services, and their ability to branch out to other cities. Gildart hints at prospective plans: “In the future we want to live stream performances at all of the venues and create a simultaneous online presence as well. That would be very cool, and make the event truly nationwide in an online sense.”
But with the event a little over a week away, he is staying happily in the near future: “ultimately, I look forward to people coming together to enjoy a night of music, learning about TELL, and hopefully sharing our information with the people who might need it.”
For more information about TELL’s Band Night, check out our event calendar listing.
For more information about TELL, visit http://telljp.com/