Review: The Brighton Tattoo Convention

Last weekend, I sent down my new pals Addison Duggan and Jessie Bell to the Brighton Tattoo Convention to take some photos and review the site. They came back with some super awesome words and pictures for us! Check it out below; thanks again Addison and Jessie!


After a night of heavy winds and rain, with massive waves still crashing on to the seafront, the Seventh Brighton Tattoo Convention opened its doors at the Hilton Metropole on Saturday 15th February. Due to the weather, delays on public transport meant that the usual massive queues were absent but excellent stewardship ensured that everyone was swiftly issued with their wristbands and waiting was kept to a minimum throughout the day. All the staff were more than helpful and happy to give assistance and directions whenever needed and made the event a pleasure to attend.

The ground floor area was filled with an interesting and varied set of trade stalls including barbers, jewellery, clothing and even taxidermy. And of course a range of food and drink options were offered to suit all tastes, and, unlike a lot of events for a captive audience, they were reasonably priced. Due to a token system, employed for the first time this year, service at the bar was streamlined and efficient.

Moving through to the ground floor main show area, the tattooists’ booths were well laid out with plenty of room to walk around, looking for inspiration for your next piece or just a chance to see a huge array of excellent artists at work. Of course for some, it was a chance to get ink by an internationally based artist and very quickly the air was filled with the buzzing of needles and that particular smell unique to tattooing.

In the centre of the room there was the Valentine Art Show in conjunction with Nine Tattoo Studio, your chance to view and even purchase original art with all proceeds going to Cancer Research UK. The upper floor was home to another galaxy of artists, including hand tapping and the Body Modification room. Once again the layout was good, with only one corridor bottle necking slightly but at such a friendly event, this was no problem. From upstairs too you had the chance to view from a unique perspective the ground floor artists at work.

Away from the hustle and bustle somewhat was the lower ground floor where there were seminars, workshops and the supply room for those in the trade. Also not to be missed was the Bristol Tattoo Museum.

As the weather outside slowly improved, numbers inside increased and the venue was filled with colourful and friendly people, most only too happy to show off their artwork for anyone with a camera. A growing number of people were also to be seen throughout the afternoon wearing the cling film trophy of fresh ink.

Only too quickly, the day drew to a close and the tattoo rooms closed. However those who could stay on were treated to performances from Vive Le Pink and Neville Staple (Specials front man) and his band.

Sunday and day two dawned and could not have been more different weather wise. The sun was shining and the huge waves had disappeared. The Brighton half-marathon was in its closing stages as the doors opened.

Entry today, unlike the previous day, was through the main reception and there were certainly some eyebrows raised as the hotel guests were treated to a constant stream of happy and colourful convention visitors. Once again, the stewardship was excellent and delay and disruption was kept to a minimum. The needles were buzzing almost immediately and once again cling-film badges of honour were to be sported all around as the day went on.

Sadly, due to the commitments of work (boo), our day was cut short and Addison and I had to head home, missing the after show party. However we had enjoyed a great weekend. Not only did we meet a fantastic group of people at a great venue, we gained some new friends and hopefully some new models for Addison Duggan Photography.

We would both like to extend our thanks to Mel Noir for allowing us to cover this event for Tatttoosday UK, and of course to Woody for organising such a fantastic event. Roll on Brighton 2015!

Jessie Bell on behalf of Addison Duggan Photography.



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