(Frank Turner pictured with the FTHC flag at the start of the US tour)
Music is, at its best, a social medium. Its true that sometimes songs are written and recorded by one person alone, but for the most part music is a collaborative process. Many different people impact the shaping and production of a song from start to finish. Songs can be so many things; they can tell stories, they can relieve past experiences, they can immortalize a failed relationship. People can identify and relate with songs for so many more reasons, and they can interpret a song differently then the person who originally wrote it. That’s one of the things that I’ve always loved about music. You can go to a show and there’s a thousand people singing along to the same band as you, but every single one of you is singing along for a different reason. Its a personal experience for all of you but its also be a collective experience at the same time. Music can truly bring people together in fascinating ways.
Frank Turner decided to take that concept one step further. Before his latest UK tour he had a flag made up depicting the album artwork from his newest release, Tape Deck Heart. The goal was for the flag to make its way to every date on the tour without the help of Frank or any member of the band. “It was a fun little thing,” Turner stated. “We were gonna make a flag that had the album artwork and the tour dates on, and in the first show we’d give it out and see if it could make it to the last show without any of our help. And the idea, the point… is to prove that people who don’t know each other can come together and do something communal and something interesting and we can make friends with each other.”
It was a social experiment of sorts, seeing how far people would be willing to go to achieve a common goal. The experience was documented with pictures, capturing the flag’s travels all around the country in the hands of numerous flag bearers. The experiment was a huge success, successfully making its way to every date on the tour. At the end of the tour Frank signed the flag and auctioned it off for charity, raising over £1300 .
When Frank announced a US tour in support of Tape Deck Heart some American fans decided to try their own experiment. Creating a secret facebook group and utilizing the platforms of facebook, tumblr, and twitter, some fans decided to try and replicate the experience. So far the US flag has been a spectacular success, making its way to every show despite some minor bumps along the way. Fans have also chosen to document the flag’s adventures by taking numerous photos and videos of its journey. The flag is also accompanied by a tour book where fans which fans can sign as well. You can follow the flag’s adventures on tumblr by clicking the following link.