The Rock Fairy pays a visit to Manchester’s biggest independent tattoo convention
Inked folk (and folk not so inked) from all walks of life descended on Event City last weekend for Manchester’s biggest independent tattoo convention, the Tattoo Tea Party. Despite a ridiculous clash with the Manchester International Tattoo Show, it seems like Tattoo Tea Party was a roaring success with many getting confused about which tattoo show they had bought tickets for!
A note on aforementioned ridiculous clash: Tattoo Tea Party has always been around this time every year for a good few years now and the Manchester International Tattoo Show decided to move from its usual spot later on in the year to the same weekend. Whether this clash was intentional or not, it was a daft thing to happen. It splits your crowd in half and means artists have a tough decision on which convention to attend. Thankfully, a bit of social media ranting gained Tattoo Tea Party a bit of an underdog status and I think the move by the “big boys” actually boosted attendance at Tattoo Tea Party as a result! Don’t let the big boys win!
Back to the event itself. A chance to check out some amazing tattoo artists and add to your expanding ink collection is awesome in itself but aside from this, there was lots of alternative stalls and a couple of vintage hair and make-up stations. I decided to take advantage of this as I was out at a gig later on in the evening so getting someone to do fiddly victory rolls for me was…well…a victory! It also meant I could stay at the convention longer as I didn’t have to go home to sort out my hair and make up! I’m such a girl.
On the tattoo front, I only have two little inkings and I am looking to expand my collection but I stupidly didn’t really research any of the artists at the event so was a little bewildered at the amount of choice! If you’re thinking of getting ink at a convention I would highly recommend researching the artists first. Despite not partaking in the ink side of things, it was fascinating checking out the array of work being completed as well as numerous portfolios. I have a collection of business cards to sift through to decide where to go for my next one. Some of the work on display was truly breathtaking, tattoos truly are an art form.
As a total shopaholic, the alternative stalls were of particular interest to me as well. Vintage stalls, handmade handbags and pretty much everything you can think of was available to buy! Lots of the stall holders don’t take card which was probably a blessing for me to be honest as spending on card doesn’t feel like spending real money! I personally would have liked to have seen more local traders there as we have a wonderful alternative shopping scene in Manchester and this would have been an ideal opportunity to celebrate that.
All in all, Tattoo Tea Party was a great event and I would love to see it grow next year. I’d like to see more on the music side of things too. We have a thriving rock music scene in Manchester which is supported massively by the alternative community. Who knows, maybe Manchester Rocks will have a stage there next year!