Charity Tattoopalooza and How to Define Success


Words by Jonathan Traynor

WHEN one sets out to do good deeds the definition of success comes in a variety of forms.

And, for the organisers of Charity Tattoopalooza there will be some constructive criticism that will help them define success on this end of November event and future plans.

Holding the event in Belfast’s iconic Crumlin Road Gaol was a stroke of genius in many ways, given the history of prison tattoos in skinwork.

But, it also came with one major drawback. The Gaol’s museum tours end at 5pm, precisely when the charity event was due to start, meaning a delay while health and safety checks were carried out.

The doors were, therefore, not open until well after the scheduled opening.

One other definition of success is will anyone turn up. They did, and did in the proverbial droves. By the time 5pm came about the queue was snaking along the pavement on the Crumlin Road. People from all shades of tattoo devotees were huddled together as wind drove the rain horizontally down the road, soaking many.

The desire of many to take part, give to charity and get some new ink was clear in the large turn-up.

Those that were fortunate enough to be early enough in the queue soon found that slots were booked up for every artist by 7pm. That meant many were not able to get their tattoo. This led to some, relatively good natured, ‘disgruntlement’ from some punters.

All the artists present deserve much credit for their work ethic. Solid tattooing from 5:25 to 11pm is some feat.

While on the surface of it having a bar open seemed a good idea for those waiting around, but it did have a major disadvantage – by the time some people were mingling around half cut. Alcohol and decisions about tattoos are not a good idea.

That being said there is no doubt that by and large the Charity Tattoopalooza was a success. Money was raised, dozens got fresh ink and more evidence added that there is enormous talent amongst Northern Ireland’s tattoo artists.