I already hear it… Asheville = Tattoo City USA! Daron James of Diamond Thieves Piercing & Tattoo has initiated the 1st ever Asheville Tattoo Festival. I stopped by their shop the other day on the Westside of town and it was packed to the door. Some waiting for piercings, others for tattoos, and others waiting to meet with Daron.
The Tattoo Fest is going to be a 4 day event. The event begins on Thursday March 15th with an early set-up for Artists and Vendors from 4pm – 8pm at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel. Then at 8pm, we have H2Ocean throwing an Artist’s Lifetime Achievement Party. This is a VIP event, free to attending Artists and Piercers, but there are also a limited number of tickets are available to the public for $15 each.
Then we have Friday March 16, 2012: From 11am – Midnight, there will be Tattooing going on the Convention Floor. The Art Walk (Fri, Sat, Sun) is actually a 375 foot hallway filled with local Asheville Art from featured Artists. There will also be a custom car and motorcycle show in the hotel parking lot. And there will also be a Kids Zone for the children. Then from 5pm – 8pm, there will be an “Art Fusion” time where you will get to see Live Art from the attending Artists. 8pm is when it gets a little frisky as they have the Pin-Up Girl Contest presented by Pin-Ups for Pitbulls . At 9pm, there will be Live Entertainment on the main stage. At 10pm, there will be the “Tattoo of the day Contest”
Saturday March 17th will have Tattooing from 11am – Midnight. The custom car and motorcycle show will continue during this time as well as the Kids Zone. At 2pm, there will be a Seminar presented by Tattoo Archive on “The History of Tattooing in NC” and from 4pm to 8pm, there will be Tattoo Contests on the main stage. Also, from 5pm – 8pm, there will be a downtown Asheville Art Gallery and Bar Scavenger Hunt with prizes galore. At 8pm, there will be the Cut Throat Freak Show on the main stage Machine Building Seminar for Artists Only. At 9pm there will be live music on the main stage and also a free Seminar that is open to the public on Tattoo Artist Paul Rodgers. At 10pm, there is the “Tattoo of the day Contest” on the main stage and also the “Best Booth in Show Contest” on the floor. Then at 11pm, the Prick Magazine and Moog after party will be on the upper level and it will be kickin until 2 in the morning. Of course not everyone can fit up here, but they are working with some local venues that are offering live music and great specials for those with a ticket to the festival. Check your grab bag for more details.
On Sunday, March 18th, there will be Tattooing on the convention floor from 11am – 7pm. The custom car show, motorcycle show, and Kids Zone will be going on as well. At 2pm, there will be a Raffle of the Art Fusion pieces and also of a “Pocket Rocket” motorcycle. All proceeds will go to benefit the Art Space Charter School. At 3pm, there will be an Award for the best custom motorcycle and car in the show. At 5pm, there will be the “Tattoo of the day Contest” finale. The event ends at 7pm with an Artist’s Dinner at 8pm. The Sunday night after party will be at the Arcade Asheville with 1/2 price beer and liquor. Sounds like a party to me.