This weekend, March 3-5, the Hampton Roads Convention Center welcomes the return of the Seventh annual Hampton Roads Tattoo Arts Festival.
Presented by Folk City Tattoo and Twisted Ink magazine, this highly anticipated event will celebrate all aspects of the tattooing industry and welcome talented artists from across the country. This year the festival will once again take up two exhibit halls.
“We are extremely excited to be back in Hampton for our seventh year,” said Hampton Roads Tattoo Arts Festival organizer John Cann. “We are adding a fusion of Halloween and Cosplay to the tattoo festival this year, adding to the already colorful event. Our commitment is to have something for everyone, and the three days of cosplay will certainly be fun for not only our comicon fans, but for everyone else as well.”
During the event, interested attendees have the option of speaking with tattoo artists from across the country and having the work performed on-site at the convention center. The cost of each tattoo is in addition to the entrance fee and is negotiated between customer and artist. Please note that many artists book fast and the best way to secure a tattoo at the festival is to set appointments with artists before the event.
“This year we have roughly 200 tattoo artists,” said Cann. “If you want to meet many great custom tattoo artists all under one roof, this is the festival to attend.”
The festival will feature several new and returning contests and activities, including the Fifth annual Kids Temporary Tattoo Contest and Best Booth. The Kids Temporary Tattoo Contest (ages 12 and under) will take place on Sunday, March 5 with up to 30 participants receiving a ribbon. First, Second, and Third place winners will receive trophies.
Another big highlight of this year’s festival is the Sixth annual Miss Hampton Roads Pin-Up Girl Contest, taking place Saturday, March 4. Twenty pre-selected finalists will show in their pin-up inspired garb of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s to compete for top prize ($1000 in cash and other great prizes).
New to the festival this year is Three Days of Cosplay! The fun kicks-off on Friday, March 3 with Monster Ball. The event will take place 10:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Hampton Roads Convention Center and is for ages 21 and up. Tickets are free with Friday admission into the festival or $10 at the door for just the ball. On Saturday, March 4, there will cosplay events all day, and on Sunday, March 5, the event will feature Kids Cosplay.
On Sunday, March 5, Family Day returns to the Hampton Roads Tattoo Arts Festival! Attendees will enjoy an expanded family area, with plenty of activities for the little ones, including a bounce house, balloon animals, and more.
In addition to all of the scheduled activities and events, the Hampton Roads Tattoo Arts Festival is happy to welcome The Enigma. A sideshow performer, actor, and musician, The Enigma was also a founder of the Jim Rose Circus, a sideshow act in 1990s that toured with Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and Lollapalooza, and was hailed as an “absolute must-see act” by Rolling Stone magazine. He has appeared in television programs such as The X-Files and is easily recognized by his blue puzzle-piece tattoos and horn implants.
Other highlights of this year’s festival include daily categorized tattoo contests, art vendors, tattoo supply vendors, Southside Pro Wrestling, Team TDH Suspensions, Traditional Tebori artist Takashi Matsuba, and the Hampton Roads Beard and Stache Society.
“The purpose of the Hampton Roads Tattoo Arts Festival is to provide a festive environment and entertainment for tattoo enthusiasts and those just curious about tattoos,” said Cann. “It is an opportunity to bring our colorful community together under one roof for a weekend of fun and camaraderie.”
$45 Weekend Pass (includes all three days)
$35 Military Weekend Pass
12 and under free
Friday, March 3 – Noon until 11:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 4 – 11:00 a.m. until 12 Midnight
Sunday, March 5 – 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
All ages welcome. Some adult content. MUST be at least 18 years old to get a tattoo. For more, here is the Facebook page.