By Lane Claffee
October 22, 2018
Starting October 26, the first ever Queen City Tattoo and Arts Festival will be held in the Charlotte Convention Center. Hosted by Fort Mill based company United Ink Productions, the festival is expected to bring in a plethora of creative talent over the weekend, as well as art enthusiasts of all ages. With more than 300 renowned tattoo artists from across the world booked for the event, it will surely be a unique experience, not only for each attendee, but for the city of Charlotte.
While this is the first time the event will be in Charlotte, this isn’t the first event coordinated by United Ink Productions. “We’ve hosted a similar festival in New York, No Limits Tattoo Expo, for five years, with upwards of 10,000 attendees,” said Christian Moore, the creative director for United Ink Productions. “Upon relocating our headquarters to the Charlotte metro in 2017, we knew right away we wanted to expose our new hometown to these amazing and out-of-this-world artists. The artists are the crème de la crème and celebrities in the industry; most have a waitlist for a year or more.”
When the artists booked for the event are described as preeminent and “crème de la crème,” it’s not to be taken as an exaggeration; some of the names that are tied to the event are professionals such as Charlotte’s Stacy Smith and Jon Ronzka, of Tattoo Me and Sink or Swim tattoo, respectively. Smith and Ronzka, along with fellow attending artist Sarah Miller, all competed in the popular Ink Master series. A.D. Pancho from Poland, and international tattoo model and shop owner Heather Moss will also be in attendance.
With so many distinguished names in the world of tattoos attending the festival, Moore also wants to establish that it’s for everyone and not just the veterans of the art. “With an Alice in Wonderland theme, this festival is intended to make the world of tattoos accessible and bridge the gap between the enthusiasts and the curious,” states Moore. While each attendee is invited to get a tattoo onsite from the hundreds of artists available, there are tons of other attractions made available throughout the weekend. Highlights include pumpkin carving with 3-D pumpkin carving expert Brandy Davis of Halloween Wars, 3-D chalk art by Chris Carlson, Boba Fett oil painting by professional artist Christian Waggoner, and multiple contests, including over 20 tattoo contests, as well as a Halloween Costume Contest, that will be revealed on Instagram. The festival will also host over 200 vendors, with food, clothing, art, body jewelry and more.
The first-ever Queen City Tattoo and Arts Festival is not just a festival for tattoos, but a celebration of arts. United Ink Productions states their mission is “to unite together tattoo artists from around the world in one place for a superb event and to spread our love of this industry,” and their efforts to bring such a distinctive, large-scale event to Charlotte is a perfect example of that. The parent company of United Ink Productions owns seven tattoo-focused companies; Ultimate Tattoo Supply, World Famous Tattoo Ink, Perma Blend, Kuro Sumi, Freshly Inked magazine, Soho Ink, and World Famous Tattoo Gallery, which shows both their reach in the tattoo art community, as well as their devotion to it. As it’s curated by such a caring organization, this festival will surely be a must-see for anyone curious about the world of tattoo art.
Learn more about the Queen City Tattoo and Arts Festival happening October 26 – 29 at the Charlotte Convention Center.
*Congrats to Carina C. Teleha on winning the Queen City Tattoo & Arts Festival giveaway!*