Despair Faction History & Packages Archive (WIP)

Birth of the Despair Faction

  1. Contest to “name” AFI’s Official Fan Club ran mid-year 2001 (contest ended 08/07/01)
  2. AFI’s Official Fan Club was named on 12/21/01
  3. AFI’s Official Fan Club officially opened on 04/03/02
    **Images below to reflect these date. Please enjoy & Welcome.

Before 2003 when AFI had signed to DreamWorks Records for what would be their biggest commercial success with “Sing the Sorrow”, AFI had been on Nitro Records for many years and many records. From 1995 through 2000, all of their records would be released through Nitro Records…

(let me clarify here… by saying from 1995 - 2000, this means they would release “Answer That And Stay Fashionable” in 1995, “Very Proud of Ya” in 1996, “Shut Your Mouth And Open Your Eyes” in 1997 (and IMO the album where they went DARK), “Black Sails in the Sunset” in 1999 and finally “The Art of Drowning” in 2000.)

Adam, Davey, Jade and Hunter wanted a way to keep things grounded and remain intimate for their most dedicated fans despite how things would change with the new label (DreamWorks).

Thus, the Despair Faction was born in 2002. It was officially named on (more details below) on 12/21/01 and officially opened on 04/03/2002. It opened on a Wednesday and the over-whelming response from fans joining the fan club actually crashed their online servers! (they thanked us for this :slight_smile: )

This thread will be meant to serve as an archive for all of the Despair Faction bundles that have been released over the years. If you don’t see a bundle here that you have a photo for, please share!

How the Despair Faction was named:

  • INCORRECT regarding HOW it was named/ Taken from Wikipedia: The official AFI fan club, the Despair Faction, gets its name from the song “The Despair Factor.” It contains perks such as exclusive merchandise, a free digital magazine, and a message board community.*

CORRECT regarding HOW it was named: The Despair Faction was named via fan voting. The fan club was created in the Spring of 2002 and the official AFI site took fan submissions on names. One lucky winner, Kyle Fielding, won with the name, “The Despair Faction”. For winning the vote, Kyle would then receive a SIGNED Days of the Phoenix EP (limited to 500, exclusive to the UK).*

Image as proof:

  1. Contest to “name” AFI’s Official Fan Club ran mid-year 2001 (contest ended 08/07/01)


  1. AFI’s Official Fan Club was named on 12/21/01

  1. AFI’s Official Fan Club officially opened on 04/03/02

- the beginning.

The Despair Faction intro page would have these first two pages from 2002 - 2008

The Exclusive DF Store, a glimpse into the past… during the Sing the Sorrow days

In 2008, the Despair Faction website changed to vBulletin to feature the forums and also had a different sign-up process starting with an age gate. Members had to be at least 13 years old to join.

The Message Board over the years (2009 era)…

DF site during the Burials era

- Under the Rose “Despair Faction” exclusive magazine, issues 1 and 2. Only two were ever made. The 2nd issue was released with the 2nd or 3rd DF Membership Package, but it was shipped separately.

1 - The first Despair Faction package pictured below. (2002 - 2003, yes, the first package was only available for 1 year!)

(this image shows the custom box it was shipped in!)

The first package included:

  1. t-shirt
  2. poster
  3. membership card
  4. patch
  5. sticker
  6. armband
    (came in custom Despair Faction box)
    NOTE: The same membership card was issued until 2013 for Burials.

Despair Faction shirt that was sold via DF exclusive merch store

Despair Faction Hoodie that was purcahsed via the DF exclusive merch store

2nd Despair Faction package called “Generation Two” (2003 - April 2006)


(Below) DF Package from 2005…? This package was almost the exact same as package # 2, but had a different poster and patch included.


Front & back of shirt:

Button from package

Armband that came with package

The second package included:

  1. t-shirt
  2. poster
  3. pin
  4. patch
  5. armband
  6. sticker
    (came in custom Despair Faction box)
    (in need of more photos)

3rd Package: Raven Despair Faction Bundle designed by Heather Gabel (See here) (June 2006 - early 2008)


4th Despair Faction package: Burials Despair Faction Membership Package (late 2013 / early 2014 - mid 2016)

The DF box the Burials bundle was shipped in (pictured below)

Artist who created the shirt and other Burials and Blood merch: Alyssa Tobias

The image above shows price points for new “premium” members or existing members able to purchase their package for $20 less at $45.


In the image above; a Despair Faction shirt, Tour Edition on the far left

Despair Faction shirt from the Blood Tour 2017. In order to purchase this at the show, DF credentials (my DF card) had to be shown to merchant. This shirt was also $5 less than all other shirts i.e. DF discount. This shirt was $25 while all other shirts were $30. This shirt was available before the DF reopened online in late October 2017.

5th Despair Faction package from late 2017. This package would receive a lot of mixed feelings from the DF. It was vastly different from previous packages, and not in a good way. In my own experience would see people selling their flags and hats, because they mainly just wanted the shirt.

This package would also be available for the least amount of time with pre-orders closing early November.

The DF reopens in late October 2017, through November 5th, 2017.

Despair Faction reopens on 08.22.18 through 08.27.18 offering what would be the 6th DF package designed by Linas Garsys

On Monday, the day DF registration was set to close, AFI extended signups through the coming Friday (08.31.18). See below.


08.30.18 DF Bundle Update: The bundle WITHOUT CARD becomes available again in limited quantities in S, L and XL only. Preorder window also delayed until 9/21/18. See below:

08.31.18 DF Registration Officially Closed again until next opening***

Received 6th Despair Faction package (pictured below)

Despair Faction enrollment reopens on 08.12.2019

DF Bundle # 7

On Monday, 8.19.19 membership enrollment extends till Friday 8.23.19

(work in progress)

Thanks to the following contributors to this post: @Ksf145 @dnlkdwll @Nick210 @PaperBirds


Here’s a picture of the first bundle I believe,

I really miss my card,I was a 2nd bundler


Thank you! I’ll update the first post.

The rest of this is so long ago so my memory is not the best but I do have a card from the Burials bundle

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Take a photo for me please! There was a card in the Burials bundle??? I’m jealous… I kinda hate myself for missing that bundle considering how much I love that album.

A burials card!? That sounds awesome !
The card I posted I received it in my bundle (the second) but it is pictured in the first bundle aswell.Bundle 1 and 2 cards were the same visually.if there was a difference the writing for bundle one may have been red while bundle two purple that’s all just what I’m assuming as I’ve never held a bundle one card next to mine but in the pictures I see a slight color difference.Damn this is straight super fan territory but I love it takes me back to simpler times

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Wow that burials card looks awesome,here’s issue one of under the rose which was included in bundle one subsequent issues were to follow but I’m not sure if they did,I kind of remember a second issue,what was a cool thing the band members would do is randomly send thank you cards and mementos to despair faction members totally random through the mail it was so cool


Was any merch released with the Burials bundle? If so I’d love to see it!
I plan on getting the blood album bundle as soon as I can… hopefully within the next couple of days

Thanks @dnlkdwll I included your photos in the first post.

@Ksf145 I miss this issue… I’m fairly certain I lost it. :frowning: Doesn’t this one include, “The Weight of Words” or was that from the #2 issue?

Yeah, there was… but @dnlkdwll will know better than me. He’s about to make us both jealous, lol.

Yes, sign up by November 5th! It closes that day.

I think it was #2 I remember not all DF members got an issue#2 (I was one) I’m fairly certain as I remember the phrases “weight of words” and “rabbits are roadkill” had us all in a frenzy for b-sides from the STS sessions,on a side note it wasn’t until crash love released that we finally had all the STS b-sides.There was a lack of DU and Crash love bs-sides but they got them hopefully one day they’ll release there besides are all awesome

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Typical bundle stuff: card, poster, tshirt, buttons, patch, and magnets


Thanks for posting these, interesting to see the past bundles :heart_eyes_cat:. I’ll second @Glenn, would be nice to see the whole Burials pack.

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This is all that I have left from the pack. Can’t find the t-shirt.


Thank you :grin:. I especially like the buttons.

Thanks @dnlkdwll I’ll update the first post tomorrow.

Also, here a piece of the other package. The package with the crow DF shirt.

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Okay, I updated the first first. @dnlkdwll can you post any other photos of the Burials package, the shirt?

We’re missing the Raven package. Finding my button from that set last night reminded me of it. If nothing else, I’ll include a photo of my shirt from that bundle.

Anyone remember which package this was? It was am earlier one…

Back of shirt

Here’s the Raven shirt:

Back of Raven shirt

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