The Henna Page Journal
Ozzfest Diary
Catherine Cartwright Jones
Page 1 of 20

Previous Page Next Page
Front cover

"Rooms to Let" in the Village of the Damned:

The vendor organizer for "OzzFest" emails me; their henna artist's van collapsed on the first day of the tour, and they need to fill in the dates. The tour magazine lists henna artists as being part of the "Village of the Damned", the group of vendors and amusements that accompany the tour, so the spot's got to be filled. I email back for details.

The booth fee is steep, but do-able with a team. I consult the I Ching. The cast is favorable, with modest gains. I email back and say I'll take the five gigs close to home if I can secure help.

I've never organized and headed a team of artists. I'm curious about the dynamic of working large crowds with henna, where several artists have to work together. In other countries groups of henna artists are hired to work their way quickly through hundreds of people, for instance for Diwali and Holi festivals, and for weddings. I want to try working with others, as thus far, I've mostly worked solo. Also, since every major rock festival tour, every major amusement park, every big renaissance festival carries a henna concession now, I want to have a taste, just to see if I like the flavor. I check out the OzzFest website. Looks like something other than else...

Flatmates in the Village of the Damned:

I put out a call for workers.

My daughter agrees to be booth bitch for a cut of the money. A few people get back to me by email saying they'd like to sling henna. Looks do-able. I've got all the gear for set-up and slinging.

I send in the contract. I get the insurance. I organize the gear and materials. I'll be camping with Shanon, Gwyn, and Zimra for the 2 weeks prior to Ozz, so we'll have a chance to learn how to work with each other. We'll manage.

Moving into the Village of the Damned:


Shanon's flown in from Seattle to sling henna, Gwyn's in for the tour, and her husband comes in with us to help schlep, and to see what henna's about. Other potential workers have found other places to be..... so there's 4 of us. A booth bitch, two slingers, and a spare.

We drive into the Blossom Amphitheater parking lot at 7:30 am as was specified by the organizer, only to find out that 6:30 am was the vendor's meet-up time. A little clusterfuq is required to start off a gig. I look for someone with the attributes of authority: an insignia-printed polo shirt and a walkie-talkie. I try talking to a few such, but they don't seem to know anything. Shrugs. I go to the tattoo booth setting up and ask who I need to snag ... the guy with the wallpaper skin, pierced cheeks and spooled earlobes grunts, "Steve". I ask what Steve looks like. He says, "He's tall, on a golf cart, has a green t-shirt, has a ponytail and he's really ugly." That limits my search by about half the people on the premises. A few more tries and I find Steve, golf cart, ponytail, ugly and all. I introduce myself, and have to repeat myself several times until I realize he may be a tad deaf from working rock shows. I get myself to where he can see my mouth. Communication improves. After much flipping of paperwork, he says "Oh. You're "hennaes"." I don't care what I'm called, I just want to get set up. Steve takes me to our space, and gives us our Village of the Damned identification stickers. The sticker has a huge demon growling and extending its middle finger.

    Previous Page

Next Page

Back to the Cover

    [Home] [How] [Why] [What] [Where] [FAQ] [Forum]