Bandom Big Bang

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Name: Bandom Big Bang
Date(s): 2008-2018
Moderator(s): akamine_chan, lucifuge5 (as of the 2016 challenge[1])
Founder: airgiodslv, foxxcub, jocondite, maleyka, and shoemaster [2]
Type: big bang
Fandom: Bandom
Associated Community: "livejournal". Archived from the original on 2017-05-09.
dreamwidth; tumblr; twitter
URL: AO3 collection
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Bandom Big Bang is a long-running big bang challenge that started on livejournal and moved to dreamwidth in 2013.

Challenge History

In 2008, the minimum fanfic length was 20,000 words, and successfully completed fics were gifted with a soundtrack, rather than artwork, since it seemed more appropriate for a music-based fandom and because at the time it was felt that fanart was not as common in Bandom. See the rules post. There was some fanart produced for the challenge as well. The mods were airgiodslv, foxxcub, jocondite, maleyka, and shoemaster.

In 2009, an artist signup was added, but art was considered an optional extra. See the 2009 rules. The list of bands allowed in the challenge (or, rather, what wasn't allowed) seems to have caused some concern among would-be participants. The number of participants doubled from the first year, so sunsetmog was added as a sixth mod.[3]

In 2010, the challenge was divided into two waves: the first wave for 10,000-word fics and the second wave for 20,000-word fics. Completed first-wave stories would get a fanmix, and completed second-wave stories would get a fanmix and/or fanart. See the rules post.

In 2011, the two waves were swapped, with the 10,000-word fics in the second wave. Artists could participate in either wave. See the rules post. The mods were sunsetmog, boweryd, fallintosilence and untappedbeauty.[4]

In 2012, podfic was added as an alternative to posting fic. Podficcers were limited to the list of Bandom fics submitted for the 2011 challenge. See the rules post. The mods were all new: catchmelike, knight_tracer, anoneknewmoose and cincodemaygirl.[5]

In 2013, podfics became eligible for receiving fanart or fanmixes. See the rules post. The mods were anoneknewmoose, cincodemaygirl, knight_tracer, and jrho.[6]

In 2014, any Bandom fic longer than 10,000 words was allowable for podficcing. See the rules post. The mods were chimneythunder, dapatty, happilyappled, lucifuge5, romanticalgirl, and akamine_chan.[7]

In 2015, the challenge was changed to be "a combination of a big bang and a reverse bang": any fanwork, not just fanfic or podfic, could be the "primary" fanwork, and any other fanwork could be the "complementary" fanwork. See the rules post. The mods were lucifuge5 and akamine_chan.

In 2016, the challenge was scaled down to one wave, due to lower participation rates in 2015.

In 2018, the mods set up a discord server, though it had low traffic. 2018 was the last year in which Bandom Big Bang was run with moderators who had experience running the challenge in previous years.

In 2019, Dreamwidth posts indicate that three "primary" drafts were posted for claiming, but no completed fanworks were ever announced, and the AO3 collection for 2019 is empty.[2]

In 2020, the challenge did not occur due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of moderators.

In 2021, the challenge was brought back with a new moderation team. The reverse bang element introduced in 2015 was discontinued, and primary works were entirely written. Writers were given the option of posting their stories in chapters. Minors were welcome to participate, but were not permitted to create explicit works, and two discord servers were created for minor and adult participants.[3] Fans began pushing for dark themes including incest and sexually explicit content featuring minors to be entirely banned from big bang creations; following this controversy, throwupsparkles stepped down from the challenge, leaving pyrchance as the sole mod.

In 2022, several new rules were instituted. Participants were divided into four groups: writers, primary creators, secondary creators, and beta readers. Writers provided "source material" for creators with a traditional 20k+ word fic, primary creators produced an accompanying piece of art or short story, secondary creators produced other creative works not covered by the primary creator role (including playlists or moodboards), and beta readers edited the writer's work.[4] The challenge was also restricted to participants over the age of 18, and "incest, pedophilia, explicit underage, and explicit non-con" were banned from all challenge creations, with "other similarly disturbing content" liable to be excluded based on mod discretion.[4] The mods were antspaul, findingsaturn, runandgo, grammyawardwinnermeatloaf, and lithopseffect.

In 2023, the challenge returned with similar rules and structures.[5] The beta reader role was formalized and included in the claims process. The mods were antspaul, starstruck0rmetal, and lithopseffect.

Defining Bandom

Possibly as a result of the 2007/2008 Bandom Terminology Debate, the scope of the challenge in 2008 was defined as "FBR/MCR and related bands only."[6] For the most part, the basic premise does not appear to have been in contention,[7] but after the first year of the challenge, the rules posts included a disclaimer stating that the list of allowed bands was not an attempt to "define" Bandom. These disclaimers were in response to comments from would-be participants, arguing that their favorite bands were interconnected enough to count as part of FBR/MCR Bandom. In some cases, they were successful. In 2009, one fan commented,

The main reason that these decisions is so utterly frustrating to me as a fan of the fringe bandom bands is that one of the things I hope for in a massive challenge that inspires as much creativity as this one is that people will write new stories and explore parts of canon that haven't gotten a lot of exposure. I'm one of the fans whose bandom experience hinges more on MCR/MSI and bands in that periphery, and the lack of fic involving the people I fangirl most is incredibly frustrating, and the fact that people are being discouraged from at least trying to create new stories about them is infuriating. I understand that there are a lot of people in the fandom who are fine with reading the same Panic fic over and over, but I for one am not one of them and know a rather large subset of people feel the same.[8]

Things got a bit heated the following year as well, with some fans arguing for the exclusion of certain bands based on their lack of connections to the "core" bands while other fans were arguing for a more fandom-centric approach (if fans write them into Bandom fic, then they are Bandom bands):


BBB's busiest year was 2009, its second year, and the overall popularity of the challenge decreased significantly after the 2012 challenge, possibly as a result of My Chemical Romance's breakup or the waning popularity of LiveJournal as a fannish platform, or both.

The three most popular bands in the challenge have always been Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, and My Chemical Romance. However, their relative popularity has shifted dramatically since the first year, probably due to Panic's split and FOB's hiatus in 2009. FOB got back together in 2013, but MCR's apparent immortality is somewhat mysterious. It may be due to a) the new mods being MCR fans, b) the overall drop in participation skewing the results, or c) tumblr MCR fans joining the challenge.


Some of the most popular works to come out of the challenge include I Have Been All Things Unholy by bexless (2008), Gerard Way's (Vampire) Detective Agency by jjtaylor (2009), and The Anatomy of a Fall by novembersmith (2010).

The complete lists of fanworks for the challenge are posted on livejournal and dreamwidth here:

See also Bandom Big Bang/Masterlists.