So this weekend was one of the biggest, if not the biggest Tattoo Festival in England, Tattoo Jam. Held at Doncaster Racecourse many people attended to watch performances or get tattoo’d. Unfortunately I did not get tattoo’d but there was a lot of other great stuff going on.
The Friday was “Artist Friday”, this is a day dedicated to artists being able to tattoo other artists or attend workshops on different styles of tattooing, piercing, and hygiene. These were very limited space places but very interesting. The main floor although quiet, was still buzzing with different peoples tattoo guns going. Many artists have come from different countries just to work at Tattoo Jam so they definitely made their time here worth it. Throughout the evening 5 bands played which then led up to the big event, The Tattoo Masters Ball, with this years theme being halloween. Many people attended dress up and really made the best of the ball; after all they are artists- and get entered into the costume contest. Host Paul Sweeney started things off with a quick comedy segment, although he was making some terrible jokes at the expense of other people, he always seemed to keep the crowd laughing, myself included.
The big performances of the night were from two lovely women, Beatrix Von Bourbon who did her burlesque act and the daring Daniella D’Ville did some crazy stunts with knives, razorblades, a board of nails, and even more. I have to say even the most daring of people were looking on in amazement as she laid down then had a gentleman stand on her whilst lay on a bed of nails; safe to say it is something that I will not be trying soon. Karaoke went on well into the night with host Paul starting it off.
The Saturday was definitely filled with excitement. People with pre-ordered tickets started filling in around 11:30 and people buying them there were let in at noon. Straight away there was a roar of tattoo guns starting up to start work. The first act I saw was stuntman Sickboy. He is rightfully named. His routine consisted of stapling things to himself, sticking needles in himself (face included) and using a chainsaw to carve into an apple whilst he held it in his mouth. After this performance I had quite a bit of time so I went and had a look about as more was going on. On the first floor was not only a chill out area but had graffiti artists spray painting this massive wall, by the end of the day it wasn’t done but the first part was- the result is below. The next act to the stage was Daniella D’Ville, who like the previous night, preformed her stunt act for the new crowd. She was amazing as ever, and got a great crowd reaction. As the day progressed the performances seemed to get more daring; the next one was no different. Snake Fervor was the next lady on stage. She started playing with fire. The show she put on was HOT, and really entertained the gathered crowd. Preforming after Snake was an act that I had seen the previous night, Beatrix Von Bourbon. She put on a fabulous act, pleasing all with a strip tease by this insanely beautiful woman. Millie Dollar was the last performer of the day downstairs. She had a completely different vibe compared to the other acts. Hers was very largely based on old tassely dresses with the wavy hair and a head piece. Although her performance was good I found her very out of tune with what she was doing, she had a serious face the whole time and unlike the other girls seemed to have no emotion or expression.
Some time later, the biggest part of the day came for most people, the tattoo competition. The first part anyone could enter any tattoo they had no matter how old it was as long as it fit in with the category. The first up was the “large black and grey” category. The winner of this was a full upper body suit, this means that the gentleman was tattoo’d from the waist to the top of his neck, his back, and arms down to his hands. To say the work was impressive is an understatement. The photograph of it is just below. The other categories included were oriental, portrait, small colour, realism, and best of Saturday. There were a lot of entrants and a lot of really good pieces of work but judges made some really good decisions on the winners.
The last act of the night before the major party started was definitely something that ALL the men enjoyed. It was a cake fight, but not between everyone. It is an act by two ladies who seductively throw cake and all forms of dairy products at each other. It was an enjoyable performance but at only 3 minutes long could have lasted longer and cut off a bit better. The ending of the music was very abrupt and the show was not really planned out well for the three minutes that they did have so I think that many people were left disappointed at the end.
Overall I had an amazing time whilst at Tattoo Jam and even if you are not heavily tattoo’d but just enjoy art I think that it is a great way to get out there and see something different. This years tickets were £25 per day of £40 for the weekend which I think for what you are getting there is an absolute bargain, and it is something completely different to what you usually expect to see and a great day out.
For more photographs of the event you can check out my blog; kirstenthorpephotography.tumblr.com