A Convention Like Love Letter to the Tattoo Community:
This year I finally got to attend an event that I have been longing to attend, ever since I studied in England back in the early 10’s. I got to attend the awesome Brighton Tattoo Convention 2019. It was the 12th time this annual tattoo event took place, in the famous seaside city of Brighton in the south-east of England.
Before I get into the review itself, I will just say that generally this convention did not disappoint. It was my first convention of 2019 and it has set the bar very high for the rest of the year, even reaffirming my love of the British tattoo scene, culture and community.
Also, probs have to be given to the awesome banners, made with the assistance of some of the artists attending the convention. As soon as you exited the train station in Brighton, you could see the first few of them, leading you down to the convention.
A total and beautiful tattoo take-over.
As the name alludes to and as I have already mentioned, the event took place in Brighton, famous seaside holiday city for both british and foreign tourists alike.
Honestly, you would be hard pressed to find a city better suited for a tattoo convention anywhere else in the world.
The entire city of brighton is already well known for it’s relaxed and openminded view on almost anything, from sexuality, to appearance and more. The city of Brighton seems to exude a vibe of “live and let live” and “you do you and I will do me”. It is a city full of colorful characters and buildings, fun little alleyways and a gorgeous seafront.
The city seems made for a tattoo convention and with the venue itself being placed right on the seafront, it could not have been better with the gorgeous sunny days the event took place, in lovely beautiful quirky Brighton. Even the city itself beckons anyone to come back, in order to investigate further.
Vibe and Venue:
When it comes to the convention itself, it took place at the Brighton Centre, a beautiful convention and event venue, with 2 flooes filled to the brim for the convention, with vendors, suppliers and tattooo artsists.
It was a beautiful venue utilized to its fullest, there were so many artists etc. that you felt like you would get lost easily. But thanks to awesome welcoming staff at the venue, as well as convenient and detailed maps of where what was at the convention. You felt relaxed and like you had your lay of the land from the get go.
It only added to the awesome and relaxed vibe, that the design of the venue, with the two floors, plenty of access ways between the two floors as well, made for a natural flow of the many many guests. No one seemed to be stressed out or overwhelmed and everyone seemed to be having an awesome time meeting old and new friends, both artists and guests. If you happened to feel tired, there was no worries either, the convention had made sure to have more than plenty of seating space to relax, with some of it even being in a separate room a little away from the action and entertainment of the event.
All of it with 3 bars to boot, so you knew you wouldn’t have to go thirsty.
Food wise, there was a little less to offer at the convention. But to be honest, there was really no need, with so many cheap options for food right around the corner from the convention venue, there really wasn’t any concerns when it came to the food. So the efforts were, and perfectly so if I might add, spent better elsewhere to ensure that the artists and guests alike, had what they needed.
All in all, an awesome venue with an amazing vibe throughout both of the packed days of tattooing and fun.
The entertainment for the event seemed to fit with the general vibe, there were some rocking and rolling live bands, as well as some other performers. Nothing that would steal any attention away from the main attraction the tattooing. It all just added to the whole relaxed party vibe, that the convention had going for it.
Even at the afterparty, it was like the weirdest and most awesome family party ever, with artists and guests alike, drinking and making merry, enjoying some funky rock with their drinks and company.
The entertainment, and I say this in the best way possible, more than anything formed an awesome backdrop to the entire convention. Adding something extra to an already awesome event. For the people sitting down near the stage, enjoying something cold to drink in the heat of the convention, they could enjoy the show fully. For the rest milling about, they would catch a glimpse of a show or some cool tunes on their way around.
It was awesome and quite the perfect way to do a show, at such a huge convention.
There were so many artists attending this convention, that you could walk around the convention, go to every nook and cranny of the venue, and you may still have missed a few. It was absolutely jam packed with talented artists from all over Britain and the rest of the world, doing every possible style you can imagine.
They even had some truly big names, such as old timer Lal Hardy, who was part of forming the old London tattoo scene back in the day. As well as the eccentric and always interesting Grace Neutral, doing her ornamental and hanpoke tattooing. There wer many more names than that to watch out for as well, some of my personal favourites being Jack Peppiettte, Rachel Baldwin, Willexsm, Miss Freya, Little Andy and many more.
Impressively enough, no matter how much I walked around the convention, I never saw an artist not doing something, everyone seemed busy and like they were getting a lot out of the event. Incredible when you think about the fact, that there was probably close to 400 artists at the event (not counting traders). Which really shows quite the attraction and power of the convention, that they can achieve that even after 12 years, hats off to them, that is some feat and what many other events strive for.
In short, this has become, already after my first visit, an event that is a must see. I will be damned if I miss it next year and I am already looking forward to it. I have never seen an event of such a size, seem so calm yet busy at the same time. Packed yet with space for everyone, it was truly an awesome event.
If you love tattoos, not just the British scene though I do have a weakness for it, you need to go to the Brighton tattoo convention. There is indeed a reason it has build the reputation it has over the years, and it is both well earned and well deserved, it is indeed one of my favourite events I have ever been to.
*Disclaimer; though I would love to be, I am not paid to review any conventions I write about or artists, it is just my hobbie and my own words and opinions.
** Most of my pictures were taken early on the Saturday, so that is why it is way less packed than you might think, in these pictures. This was purposefully to show off the venue a bit better.