The International Tattoo Convention has put its tickets for 2016 up for sale, and the event is due to be held across the weekend of 23rd to 25th September 2016 – it is around this sort of date every year. If you have an interest in tattoos (you don’t even need to love them), the lifestyle & culture which accompanies them, performance art, burlesque, street art, music and any number of other activities, this place is definately worth checking out. To buy tickets or get a better idea of what is going on there this year check out the official website here.
It is always held at the tobacco dock, which in itself is a convention center worth checking out. It is suited perfectly for this event with its underground layout and bare bricks constructions it makes the perfect grimey backdrop for one of the worlds greatest tattoo conventions.
The venue is located in Wapping which can be reached easily by heading to Shadwell underground or docklands light rail station, and taking the short 5 / 10 minute walk (depending on the way home how much time you spend in the Sailor Jerry bar) to the venue. The organisers are however this year also offering free transport from Tower Hill.
The basis of this convention is of course the art of tattooing and there are hundreds of tattoo artists from all over the world represented. If you have ever admired and wanted a tattoo from someone as far away as Norway, USA or even New Zealand, they are all represented by their respective countries most highly esteemed artists… Or maybe you live in Kent and don’t want to travel as far as the North to see your favourite artist… Try and book a slot for the show! There are even many of the worlds best “traditional” artists here. There might be more traditional tattoo methods still in use today than you might think – but be warned… These artists don’t come cheap!
As well as getting their tattoo on, many of the artists also sell their artwork in original and printed form at their stalls, so you can pick up some great artwork whilst watching them work.
Stalls aren’t the only place however to see some amazing artwork as there are usually also some galleries present which show off a particular artists works or focus on a specific topic or style – these are always included in the price and well worth having a quick look around. Generally speaking there will also be a street art collective represented at the show – producing a great piece of art throughout the duration of the convention, however I can’t see any mention of this yet on their website.
You may even see some very well known faces at the convention (look for the areas with huge numbers of people watching) such as Don Ed Hardy or the cast of Miami Ink.
Food and Drink
Tattoo culture is often influenced heavily by Americana, and a big part of this is food! As such the food here is always great and gets more wide ranging and plentiful every year… this year it looks like there is going to be even more available than ever before. Don’t forget the drink though! There is always plenty of liquid flowing at the convention from bars such as the voodoo crypt or Sailor Jerry bar, whilst also generally having a brand such as Rockstar energy drinks present.
Bring some cash is the biggest piece of advice I can give for coming to the international tattoo convention!
There is so much for sale here, from fashion (both clothing to jewelry, especially of the body kind) to house wares and art work to books… It is always great quality and you can generally find some really unique items from unique sellers.
For me this is always one of the highlights of the convention, as there is such a great variety of entertainment on offer.
There is always a lot of music (with many of the bands having a rockabilly vibe), and Vince Ray & The Bone Shakers being pretty much a permanent fixture at the event. Mostly these performances are in or outside the Voodoo Crypt. However between bands, there is also a stage (although this year it looks like there may be 2 in use) where they show performances from performing arts groups to burlesque performers (as well as having a separate burlesque stage for shows and competitions) such as the Fuel Girls, Pyrohex, Cervena Fox and more.
Many of the women who perform here (and some who aren’t otherwise performing) are models selling their latest calendars and signing merchandise.
All in all this is a great convention, worth visiting! If you like tattoos, love tattoos or just have a keen interest in having a damn good time… There should be something here for you!