Derry to host NI’s first Barbering Convention later this month

The NI Barber Convention on June 24 is the brainchild of Greg McNeil who runs Bareknuckle Barbershop
The NI Barber Convention on June 24 is the brainchild of Greg McNeil who runs Bareknuckle Barbershop

Some of the UK and Ireland’s top barbers and tattoo artists will converge on Derry later this month, alongside street artists and musicians, for Northern Ireland’s first ever Barber Convention.

The convention is the brainchild of Greg McNeil who runs the Bareknuckle Barbershop in the city and will feature demonstrations, seminars, displays, live music and contests.

The NI Barber Convention 2018 will run at the Nerve Centre on June 24 from 12.00 noon to 6.00 pm, and Greg said he has been delighted with the interest to date. “I wanted to develop a cultural event around the whole barbering culture, with barbers, tattooists, street food, live music and street art. We will have people showcasing barbering styles and techniques on stage and the convention will be over three floors of the Nerve Centre,” he declared.

Such conventions have proved major draws in cities across the world over recent years following the revival of interest in male grooming, as evidenced by the number of young professional barbers now practising locally. “It’s really big. People are spending a lot more time on themselves, especially young fellows and with social media and pop culture, people can follow whatever is the current trend.”

“We would travel across Europe to conventions and we have met a lot of talented people through these networks and thought it would be great to bring them here.”

The event will be a double cause for celebration as Bareknuckle will be marking their third birthday, and Greg said they were overwhelmed by the positive support for the convention, which has already attracted sponsorship from Urban Tonic, Barber Evo, Quartered Steels, Booksy, Jameson Whisky and Northbound Brewery.

Barbers taking part on the day include Hard Grind from Dundee, JFH Social from Newcastle, Ghost Barbers from the Midlands, Cut and Sew from Dublin, Wez Omilio Jones aka Heartbreak Barber from Leigh-on-Sea, Mark Gaye, Notorious Barbers Mulingar, owner of the Irish Barber Expo, and Josh Lamonica and Charley Grey, owner and lead educator for Menspire Education London.

Tattoo artists from Studio 76, Craig Riddles, Denko Tattoo, and Tattoo Lounge will also be in attendance along with local graffiti artists from UV Arts, with live music from Jack Boyd (Fuze) and Ocean Beach Ibiza resident DJ LOCEA.

Greg said he wanted to keep tickets affordable, and while normally a convention ticket would cost around £45, for the Derry Convention, the tickets are £15 and can be purchased via www.nervecentre.org