Photo: Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock

1 Tattoo Convention a Month for 2010

by Kate Sedgwick Dec 31, 2009
Tattooists with skills can travel the world from convention to convention, disseminating their styles far and wide.

Not lucky enough to be among them? You can always do the next best thing and visit a convention near you that gathers bright talents from around the globe.

January 15 – 17, 2010
Bangkok International Tattoo Convention 2010
Bangkok, Imapact Hall 9

This year will be the first Bangkok International Tattoo Convention where you can see Arjan Noo Kanphai at work whose traditionally done Thai tattoos are renowned for their magic. Other artists who will be there include Mick Zurich, Shige, Horitsuna (who specializes in Tebori – traditional Japanese hand tattooing), and Mike Ledger.

Another tempting pick for the month of January is The Singapore Tat2 Show from the 8th through the 10th.

February 19 – 20, 2010
MusInk Tattoo Convention and Music Festival
Orange County, CA.

Our pick for February is the Third Annual MusInk Tattoo Convention and Music Festival in no small part due to the musical lineup which includes The Buzzcocks and The Damned. If you buy a three day pass for $75.00, you can also see NOFX and The Cult along with Jim Rose. Their listing of tattoo artists includes Mick Zurich and Hori Sho of Tokyo and mostly Californian artists and shops including Juan Puente of Black Rose.

March 6 – 8, 2010
Sydney Tattoo & Body Art Expo
Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park

The second annual Sydney Tattoo & Body Art Expo features 200 + artists, mostly Australian including Mik Massingham and Mitch 13, Nick Morte of Norway and French artist Noon.

April 23 – 25, 2010
Edmonton Ink Festival
Nothlands AgriCom Hall E
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Featured Artist this year at Edmonton Ink Festival is Tattoo Jake who’s been tattooing across Canada since the ’80’s and offers a history of tattooing on his website along with problematic and unsafe practices he’s seen on tattoo TV shows.

Other artists will be listed on the site soon, but past conventions featured a roller derby, a graffiti wall and special guest Lizardman Erik Sprague and his stand-up routine.

May 29 – 30, 2010
International Needle Art Convention 2010
Bress Sportcenter
Breda, The Netherlands

A list of artists from all over Europe and the world can be found on the International Needle Art Convention website including Tattoo Jan Studio, and Carl Cooke’s Artful Ink of the UK. The lineup is not complete this far out, but you can see last year’s at the website to get an idea.

June 12 – 13, 2010
Tattoofest 2010
Kraków, Chebobudowa center

Tattoo Fest 2010 lists Victor Portugal of Kraków, Jef from Boucherie Moderne in Belgium and Guil Zekri of Germany and “many more” as artists whose trust they’ve gained. Does that mean they’ll be there in 2010? Check the website in the coming months for more information.

July 30 – 31, 2010
6th International Tattoo Convention
Stavanger, Norway

The 6th International Tattoo Convention kicks off in Stavanger, Norway at the end of July. If you’re not impressed with the no frills website, just look at the spectacles beheld at the 2009 event by scrolling down and clicking “Pictures 2009.”

2010 will include Sid and Noi Saimese, both formerly of Thailand, Vatea of Haiti, a bevy of Norwegian artists and many European artists.

Last year, Isobel Varley, the “Most Tattoed Senior Woman” according to the Guinness Book of World Records appeared along with Eliane Davidson, the world’s most pierced woman.

August 27-29, 2010
Hell City 10 “Let It Burn”
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

The lineup for Hell City is nowhere near complete yet. The four artists confirmed for the Phoenix Show are all from Clic Collective in Virginia, while their Columbus, Ohio show in May is far closer to hammered out.

The website states they are not an average tattoo convention which must be true when they offer a children’s area (Heck City Kid’s Zone). They promise “everything from live entertainment on the main stage, to music, to free seminars, live forums, The Art Fusion Experiment, tattoo competitions every day,” and of course, the ubiquitous Suicide Girls.

September 25-27, 2010
International London Tattoo Convention 2010
Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, London

We’ve talked about The London Tattoo Convention on Matador Nights before. Details are few and far between for the 2010 lineup, but as the time draws near, buzz should get going in the forum.

In the meantime, you can peruse last year’s artists and events to get a good idea of what will be in store for you should you make it in 2010.

October 1 – 3
Barcelona Tattoo Expo
La Farga, Hospitalet del Llobregat

The Barcelona Tattoo Expo will be in its 13th year on 2010. In 2009 the convention had more then 9,000 visitors and 134 exhibitors. While there is little information about this event, you can subscribe to their newsletter for updates. 2009’s schedule was chock full of activities.

Florence Tattoo Convention
Fortezza da Basso
Firenze, Italy

If the past two years are any indication, Florence will hold its third tattoo convention this November. Last year featured loads of Italian artists including transplant Don Alejandro Cervantes of Tattoo Mexican Family and his clan, and photo-realists Matteo Cascetti and Tiziano Ripanti of Il Gatto e la Volpe. Many European artists and several Japanese artists including including Hiro, Horinao and Ritsu from Cat Claw Studio were on the roster last year as well as a couple of Americans and one Brazilian.

Berlin Tattoo Convention
Arena Berlin
Eichen Strasse 4, 12435 Treptow

It’s pretty certain that December will see the 20th Berlin Tattoo Convention. Only just completed, 2009’s event included Herbert Hoffman, billed as the oldest tattoo artist. Last year, Vatea tattooed in the real old school fashion – without a machine, and 150 artists worked and were showcased from locales as far-flung as China.

Looking for more conventions? Check out Karen L. Hudson‘s guide on as it’s updated throughout the year to see if you’ll be near one in 2010.

Community Connection

This list brings you one tattoo convention a month worldwide and picks are partially based on date, so many greats have been excluded from the list. Is there something you’d like to see here? We invite your comments letting us know below.

Check out MatadorTV to see Thai monks tattooing in the traditional way and the tattooed taking on the attributes of the tattoos they’ve gotten.

Torn about being tattooed? You can read Matador Community member kburg’s blog about what a tattoo can mean for your employment in Korea.

Discover Matador