So, yesterday I went to my first tattoo convention. I was very excited as I’ve really submersed myself into tattoo culture over the last year or so. I was supposed to go to a convention about a month ago, but it was in Raleigh and the timing just wasn’t right. Yesterday’s convention was in Concord, which is about fifteen minutes from my house, so I couldn’t really pass it up. My only complaint was the $20 entry fee. Fortunately for me, there was a biker dude in the parking lot who had an extra ticket and offered it to me for free. Once I got in I was quite pleased with the free entry. I have to say I was a little disappointed at the convention. I can’t say I seriously expected anything too amazing as it was in Concord, but I thought it would be a bit bigger. There were probably around twenty booths, a not so great Linkin Park-ish band and a BMX team. The highlight of the convention were the free Monster Energy Drinks.
I went with a couple friends, Deana and Barb (I would’ve given one of them the free ticket if they weren’t already inside when I got there). We started of by making a round to all of the booths. Most of the booths were shop oriented with artist giving tattoos and handing out business cards. There were a few piercing related booths selling body jewelry and piercings. There were also a few booths selling shop supplies and one of the booths had a wall set up for graffiti tagging. The only vendor that even acknowledged us was Skin Art magazine. They asked if they could take our picture for the cover (be on the look out for the next issue) and then gave us a few free magazines.
The major disappointment came from the lack or interaction. None of the vendors seemed to really care. No one tried to show us their work, give us cards or get us to let them tattoo us. Maybe it was just because it was the last day, but if that’s the case then they shouldn’t even charge. It also could have something to do with location, but it seems as though, like any job, if you love it you have to take the good with the bad.
This pretty much sums up the band.
The most exciting part of the convention was definitely the BMX Demonstration. I didn’t know any of the riders, but the show was put on by Monster Energy Drinks (hence all the free Monster). They gave away a bunch of free swag during the demonstration and really played to the crowd. I was extremely excited about the opportunity to photo this demonstration, I just wish they had set it up outside so I could have better light.
My overall experience was not bad at all, just not what I expected. I really had a picture in my mind of everyone being super friendly and want to talk and have their picture taken. I’ll just chalk this one up to location and try again in a bigger city, preferably not in the southeast. Next weekend I’m going to try and go to Heroes Con here in Charlotte and I’ve never been to a comic book convention either. Hopefully this will be a much better experience… I’ll let you know!
PS: If you are interest in the rest of the photos from the convention feel free to check out my flickr set!