On August 24, Pulp Riot hosted its first ever digital festival… and we came along for the technicolour ride!
Covid may have cancelled Glasto and Coachella, but Pulp Riot knew it’d take more than a global pandemic to hold back hairdressers’ creativity. That fierce spirit and enthusiasm was the driving force behind #PulpRiotFest – a five-hour live streamed education and inspiration event, hosted by Harriet Stokes, and featuring illustration, DJs and (of course) a RIOT of colour.
Proceedings kicked off with a sugar-sweet set by DJ Babyfigs, who kept things high energy with bubblegum mashups and pop-punk tunes, before the day’s first creative session got underway. With a focus on blends – both natural-looking and unashamedly vivid – Heather Mackenzie and Sharell Halpine walked the audience through top tips to ensure seamless transitions between shades, demonstrating each technique on a series of live-coloured and pre-prepared block heads while answering questions.
Next up was Diana Francis, who educated viewers on the best blow-dry methods for textured hair. Diana – who has published a book on caring for all types of hair – first demonstrated a sleek, straight blow dry using a single brush, before creating a heat-set curl using perming rods and minimal product. Diana’s no-nonsense advice for anyone styling curly and coiled hair? Keep a handle on the heat or risk creating damage that can’t be undone!
Following a short break, during which Babyfigs spun some more tunes, #PulpRiotFest resumed with a bit of freestyle creative flow courtesy of fashion illustrator and artist Tony Green. Tony – who created the backdrops for the event, and has worked with the likes of Sonia Rykiel and iconic brands including Selfridges – chatted with Harriet about his career history, his favourite colour (“one that hasn’t been seen or discovered yet!”) and his inspirations, while painting an entire artwork using only Pulp Riot colour.
Viewers were also encouraged to get creative with whatever they had to hand and to decorate copies of Tony’s line drawings, which were including in their pre-event merch mailouts. At the end of the session, and following prompts to share their handiwork on Instagram, Tony chose one lucky viewer who got to keep the original piece to display proudly in their home or salon.
After packing away the easels, presenting duties fell to Tegan Robertson and Kylee Robertson-Holness, as they chatted converting colour clients to regulars, whether their goal is to rock a sun-kissed balayage or a fearless fashion colour melt. Both utilised Pulp Riot’s newest UK launch, Interstellar, creating a holographic money piece on a silver-blonde base (Tegan) and mixing with clear to pastelise and create a custom blonde toner (Kylee).
The audience enjoyed another short musical interlude with Babyfigs, before Stephanie Darbyshire guided them through a series of festival braiding techniques. As well as demonstrating her nimble fingers and super-clean parting skills, Stephanie shared her favourite hacks for keeping constant hair tension, product picks for laying the groundwork for each type of braid, and top tools to have in your kit for flawless finishes (including her trusty YS Park tail comb).
The final session of the day saw host Harriet showing off the neutralising versatility of Pulp Riots High Speed Toner range. Working with sections across two bleach-blonde blockheads, she demonstrated in real time the difference a simple five-minute application can make, and the ease with which you can create a custom finish thanks to their intermixable nature.