In Praise of Ink

Johnny Mayhem


Last night, we ended up at the HallowINK FestEVIL in Burlington, NC.  The event is more than just a standard tattoo convention; it’s a full-on party, with music and entertainers and lots and lots of inking and pokings-of-holes-in-bodies going on all around the perimeter.

It’s the first year for this event.  Scott, one of the guys putting it on, and the owner of Inferno Ink Tattoo told us how the festEVIL came about — apparently, there were some adult beverages on the porch one evening, and the idea of a convention in Burlington came up.  As good ideas tend to do, it was evolved over the course of the night, and in three months’ time, Scott and his two partners had the entire event planned and ready to go.

For anyone who’s never planned an event bigger than a birthday party (and even a few of those), you won’t understand how huge of a feat that is.  Putting together a big public event is often like herding cats, and feral, fifty-foot-tall cats, at that.  There’s a reason that conventions get planned, sometimes a few years in advance — you NEED that much time to put it together.  The fact that Scott and his partners put this thing together in a matter of months turns them into supermen/women.  Seriously.


They’re planning on doing this event again in the Spring, and asked us to be a part of it.  We’re so there.

Tonight, they’ve got a raucous night planned — a Reggae band from here in NC, and another band (I believe it’s the Anonymous Band, but don’t hold me to that) that’s local-ish.  We’re coming in around ten with the bag o’ sideshow tricks, and will be wandering the crowd and making people groan with discomfort (because THAT’S WHAT WE DO.).  We’re still not sure on the legality of the fire stuff here, but Johnny’s got his box of flammables, just in case.  (Because what goes better with tattoos than fire?)

And, a meta-note, too — we think we may have found our human pincushion.  She works for one of the shops in Burlington and apparently has no pain receptors anywhere in her body.  She lets her apprentices practice piercing ON HER OWN BODY, so we think she’s going to be perfect.  It’s awesome.


Also on the docket for tonight — Johnny’s doing the largest show he’s EVER DONE.  And he’s done some big ‘uns, so that’s saying something.

At the Cathedral of His Glory, in Greensboro, NC, they hold an annual event with music and food and carnival-style games to give parents someplace to bring their children where they don’t have to worry about razor blades in the apples or LSD in the laffy taffy.  It’s a positive-message event, but, I think, may be more about the GIANT PALLETS OF CANDY they bring in, at least for the kiddos.

They’ve asked us to come and perform on stage inbetween band performances from 6 – 9 p.m..  Mayhem Inc will be performing acts of amazement and amusement in three short sets…in front of an estimated seventeen thousand people.

Let me let that sink in.

Seventeen.  Thousand.  People.

That’s bigger than Johnny’s hometown.  By, like, twenty times.

It starts tonight around six (as we mentioned), at the Cathedral of His Glory (as mentioned), which is on Lake Jeannette Drive in Greensboro (which we didn’t mention until now).  Come on by!

There’s candy….

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