Whether you're covered in tattoos or an admirer of ink from afar, tattoo conventions are the ultimate way to combine your passion for travel with your penchant for body art. The problem when planning is that there are simply too many choices. According to Tattoo Artist Magazine blog, more than 400 tattoo conventions are held all over the world each year. That averages to about seven per week. When planning your itinerary, be sure to find an event that will exceed your expectations.
Here are the top five conventions to see this summer.
1. Ink Life Tour
Have you always imagined an epic story to accompany your first tattoo? You can make your dream come true at the Ink Life Tour convention, which features more than 200 of the world's best tattoo artists, like Amy Nicolette from "LA Ink." As stated on Ink Life Tour's official website, attendees can get free tattoos by signing up to be a canvas for the King of the Ink competition. Talk about an adrenaline rush!
The lavish event also offers a number of musical acts, like Static-X, Grind, Hawthorne Heights and Authority Zero. If you're into all things strange and unusual, be sure to stick around for the human suspension show. The Ink Life Tour bops around from city to city. Next stop is Longview, Texas, from August 14 to 16.
2. New York Empire State Tattoo Expo
Head to the Big Apple to see an eclectic mix of world-famous and on-the-rise tattoo artists. Paul Booth, who's worked with the bands Slipknot, Mudvayne, Slayer and Soulfly, will be there. There's something for everyone at this year's affair, allowing friend groups to split off and enjoy their own experience.
Check out the burlesque performances, a world-renowned magic show or take a stroll through the art gallery. The three-day event will take place July 10 through the 12.
3. Ink In The Clink
"Things are going to get weird at the Ohio State Reformatory."
Things are going to get weird at the Ohio State Reformatory. This summer, it will be home to The Ink In The Clink, which is not only one of the wildest tattoo conventions, but it's also one of the biggest freak shows around.
Leave your fear at home to partake in a ghost hunt, witness a live human suspension show and watch bikers perform daredevil stunts. If you get a moment to tear yourself away from the spectacle that's surely to unfold, peruse the 100 tattoo artists, grab a beer or find some sweet new drab at one.
4. Texas Tattoo Showdown Festival
West Texas' biggest tattoo convention is part music festival, part tattoo expo. If you're looking to slip into your favorite pair of cowboy boots and do some dancing, then make your way over to the stage. Ice Cube, Limp Bizkit and The Offspring are expected to perform this year.
Finish the day off the right way by getting inked by some of the country's finest talent. More than 300 artists will be at the Texas Tattoo Showdown Festival, including celebrities from "LA Ink," "NY Ink," "Ink Master," and "Best Ink."
Whether you had your sights set on a sojourn in the south or a getaway on the west coast, you can catch Ink-N-Iron. The event will be in Long Beach, California from June 12 to 14, and in Nashville from August 6 to the 9.
Both events promise ample ink, a pin-up pageant, a vintage fashion bazaar, tattoo contests and live music. Yee-haw!
If you're gearing up for a convention and want to get rid of some old ink, consider laser tattoo removal. There's no need to sport body art that no longer suits you.
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