Lancashire’s Beat-Herder Festival is often referred to as “the barmiest festival in all the land”. An independent event, it hosts an annual celebration of reggae, dub and more.
But it’s not just about music. The entirely hand-made site is also home to the Beat-Herder Tattoo Parlour, where (over the years) a total of 3,000 people have received a very particular tattoo – a little sheep carrying a speaker, which represents the festival logo.
Run by Leeds-based Rude Studios, the pop-up tattoo shop has become a staple of the festival experience.
Artists working the event will only tattoo the sheep logo at Beat-Herder during the event itself. If someone comes into one of their Leeds shops post-event and asks for it, it’s a no.
So, what were the challenges creating a tattooing environment at a festival?
“There were a fair few hoops to jump through,” says Jamie Foxon, one of the festival’s creators. “This is one of the few, if not the only, festival in the land with a fully-licensed tattoo parlour.”
With three tattoo artists working, the tattoo shop is constantly busy during the whole festival, from the crack of dawn until darkness each day.
“Tattoos are the best souvenir really,” confirms Jamie. “This is why there is a parlour here. It is a magical place, 3 days of beats and barminess.”
“You can dance in the magical trees, find tiny little venues, swim in the secret swimming pool. And then comes Monday morning and it’s all just a little memory.”
“Memories are attached to imagery and I like to think that giving people the opportunity to have a Beat-Herder tattoo is a life long souvenir of good times and the experiences had.”