This week is the South by Southwest Film Festival, featuring food, music, events and early showings. Each year, people expect to hear about what artists showed up, what films are highly anticipated and what people did and ate all week. However, there's one thing people don't expect, and that's to hear what tattoos people decided to get. Yes, you heard right – this year's film festival was chockfull of locals and tourists alike getting tattoos as part of their enjoyment.
So what were people getting?
There was a few different tattoos people tended to opt for, but most pointed toward the upcoming release of the film Suicide Squad. While the film won't be released for another five months at least, fans have already gotten excited thanks to promotions for the film as well as teaser trailers. The festival coordinators picked up on this excitement, and decided to create a tattoo parlor that was reminiscent of the DC comics flick. This wasn't any pop-up shop, though. The parlor is normally known as Affinity Tattoo and Piercing on 6th Street in Austin, Texas. Just for the week of the festival, the shop was recreated to read the Harley Quinn Tattoo Parlor. Event coordinators even went as far to create a sign for the transformed parlor shop.
"The shop was recreated to read the Harley Quinn Tattoo Parlor."
Making a choice
Yet just like the regular shop, the new Harley Quinn spot was offering fans a chance to get real tattoos of their favorite characters. If they didn't want to make the lifelong commitment and only wanted their ink to last as long as the festival, they could also opt to get a temporary tattoo that looked just like the real thing. Regardless of whether people were picking real tattoos or fake ones, the tattoos were a hit, with the parlor basically having a revolving door. Some fans were so excited for the chance to get a Suicide Squad tattoo that they chose to wait outside for several hours before the store even opened just so they could be the first ones inside and ensure they got the tattoo they wanted. One fan was willing to wait four hours before the store opened its doors so he could be the first in line.
Why were fans so eager to get these tattoos? Aside from already being excited for the movie, the tattoo parlor was also offering the fresh ink for free. All fans had to do was wait in line to show their support for the upcoming movie. This promotion was so popular with locals and visitors that the tattoo shop's employees said they saw at least 20 people get tattoos a day – that's not even counting temporary ones!
Naturally, some characters tended to be more popular than others. Out of the ten Suicide Squad members, which include the Joker, Harley Quinn, El Diablo, Killer Croc, the Enchantress, Boomerang, Dead Shot, Katana, Slipknot, Rick Flag, people have chosen to get the Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc or the Enchantress most commonly.
Clearly, some people are hoping they won't have tattoo regret when they leave Austin and they can remember their favorite characters from this storyline forever.
A matter of opinion
Yet that isn't the only place where tattoos are being featured at this year's South by Southwest Film Festival. The festival is also offering visitors a chance to visit a panel known as Body Art Stories: Athletes, Tattoos, and Instagram. Essentially, the panel discusses how people are influenced to post their tattoos or the tattoo they gave someone on Instagram, and how several celebrities, most notably athletes such as David Beckham and Lebron James, are known for sporting some ink. Recently, tattooed athletes, especially basketball players, were getting negative feedback from revealing their tattoos while they play, and it sparked a discussion about tattoos and athletes that has yet to quiet down.
Essentially, the panel will discuss and try to explain why Instagram is the current platform of choice for people to share their stories and their tattoos. There are currently 75 million photo tags related to tattoos on Instagram. The panel will include commentary from Olympic bobsledder for Team Canada, Kaillie Humphries, as well as thoughts from Randy Harris, owner of Tattoos By Randy and Instagram's community events lead, Andrew Owen.