Hands Off Gretel have released a 48-page full colour ‘Quarantine Edition’ fanzine to help raise funds for the anti-bullying charity Ditch The Label. The charity was chosen by band front woman Lauren Tate who recently spoke out about the impact of years of bullying and online harassment.
The zine includes more than 70 pieces of individual art submitted by fans as part of the band’s lock down activities to keep fans engaged alongside personal accounts from the band around issues of bullying and self confidence.
The submissions prompted Lauren to create the fanzine. “We just couldn’t believe the standard of the artwork that came flooding in” she explains, “I decided that we had to create something really special, so that we could truly celebrate all of the artwork together and I came up with the idea of a Fan Zine, The ‘quarantine Edition’”
While Lauren set about narrating the zine she was subjected to yet another hateful public attack online, something that has been ongoing for 5 years. The perpetrator posting false personal allegations online and messaging other bands, fans, promoters and music journalists, hiding behind fake profiles to try and sabotage Laurens character.
“On the one hand I was dealing with such amazing positivity from our fans receiving these wonderful art creations at the same time as battling this hatred online” she elaborates. “I had felt so powerless that someone was actively using the Internet to spread hate about me.
“Everyone tells you its ‘Normal’, ‘just ignore it’, ‘haters gonna hate’, but unless you have been through it, you have no idea how much it messes with your head.
“Receiving the artwork from all around the world really helped me so much during this time and the sheer positivity of this just gave me the confidence and the courage to finally speak out.
“Creating the zine to raise awareness of the impact of bullying and supporting the anti-bullying charity ’Ditch the Label’ just seemed like the obvious thing to do, turning this into something really positive and doing my bit to help others going through the same thing.”
During lockdown Ditch the Label has seen a 158% increase in contact with their charity with thousands benefiting from the charity’s resources and support each week. They have a team of digital mentors who are trained to help young people navigate through issues related to bullying, such as improving mental health, body image, coming out and building confidence and self-esteem.
They have a team of digital mentors who are trained to help young people navigate through issues related to bullying, such as improving mental health, body image, coming out and building confidence and self-esteem.
The 48 page Quarantine Edition fan zine is available Hands Off Gretel’s website and will also be sold at gigs once they resume. £5 from every zine sold will be donated to the charity Ditch The Label.