Festivals & Events

10 Wildest Tattoo Expos/Conventions in the USA!

Tattoo-Convention-Expo-USA
Written by Town & Tourist

Tattoo Conventions & Tattoo Expos have seen a booming resurgence in recent years! The number of these tattoo festivals are popping up all across the USA!

Tattoos have always been a way for a person to express themselves artistically, but these days, it’s also a major fashion accessory with the number of U.S citizens with Tattoos on the rise and Tattoo conventions booming as a result! 

Tattoos can be purely decorative, artistic & for alot of people they have a deeper emotional meaning from the names of loved ones, family to star signs and spirit animals…the reasons people really get into Tattoos is massive! One thing is for sure they can really change some peoples life. 

tattoo-expo-convention

tattoo-expo-convention. (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA)

Here are some quick tattoo facts to get your teeth into:

– 36% of U.S citizens between the ages of 18 to 29 have at least one tattoo.

– United States of America has over 20,000 tattoo parlors. With a new one opened every day.

– The word (tattoo) became the number one google search word in 2002. 

– 30% of college graduates in the U.S.A have tattoos.

– According to a U.S survey the most common place for a women to have a tattoo is her ankle (27%) for men it’s their upper ack shoulder. 

Tattoo-Expo-Attractive-Convention

(Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA)

– 24% of people think that tattoos can make someone look more attractive. 

– Out of a survey of people with tattoos 70% have greater than one and 20% have greater than five! 

– 38% of people serving in the U.S Army have at least one Tattoo. 

– 32% of US citizens admit to having a “addiction” to getting inked! 

From these facts it’s clear to see that the number of tattoos is on the rise and it also seems that getting a tattoo can be an addictive experience, even though it can be painful most people who have tattoos find it soooo worth it!!

I am 5 myself  (two full arm sleeves) one full leg and a couple of little ones but that’s nothing compared to some of the really passionate people you will see at the tattoo conventions. But it all comes from the same place, I love of the Ink! 

Tattoo Conventions/Festivals

Tattoo Conventions act as a celebration of great Tattoo masterpieces. They offer a great community vibe and an awesome source of inspiration for your next tattoo.

If you have not attended a tattoo convention before it is a must do bucket list event! At the Tattoo convention you will find hundreds of talented artists, a passionate community looking for their next fix and a host of curious spectators who wish to see the human artwork on display.

They are entertaining & engaging events with dancers, fire Breathers, live music and even tattoo catwalk shows! Alot of the Tattoo Expos especially Hells City Expo and Motor City Expo, have a real hedonistic vibe about them…which is a really unique experience in itself!  

With live tattooing you get to really see first hand people being transformed from blank canvas to a piece of art throughout the day!

Tattoo-Expo-Woman-Model-Full-Body

Beautiful Tattoo Models are a popular sight at Tattoo Conventions. (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA)

One of my favourite parts about most tattoo conventions is the real community vibe. If you travel to many Tattoo conventions like myself you will surely bump into a few friends and the familiar tattoo Picassos who all do the “circuit”.

At some of the great Tattoo conventions you will have a real opportunity to meet & get tattooed by talented artists from all over the world…without having to hop on a flight to Europe or Japan! 

If you’ve not attended a Tattoo Convention or Tattoo festival before you may find deciding which event to go and when a real challenge so I have put together this informative article on a complete guide to most WICKED and Wild Tattoo Conventions/Festivals in the United States of America. 

Tattoo Convention Etiquette 

When walking around the the convention be mindful that some of the artists are working & need to concentrate while tattooing so give them plenty of breathing room, while they get to work. But the great news is most are really happy to answer any questions & give you a time slot where you can drop by for a consultation.

Tattoo Conventions for Artists: 

If your a Tattoo artist the conventions are an absolute goldmine of contacts, clients and a host of talented collaborators. As an aspiring tattoo artist you can take part in seminars, workshops and learn new skills from the best in the business. 

Tattoo-Convention-Expo-Art

Tattoo-Convention-Expo-Art (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA)

How do you get a Tattoo at a Convention?

As you are walking around the convention seeing the sights, sounds and wonderful displays of awesome tattoo art. It’s only normal that you will get a few ideas buzzing around your head and will definitely want a tattoo to take home with you (I know I did!!).

Some tattoo artists offer walk ups & happily book you in. However, if you want a tattoo by the greatest artists at the tattoo convention you are best to book up in advance! 

Tattoo-Festivals-USA

Tattoo-Festivals-USA (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA)

As alot of the most talented artists only make enough time for one customer per day! Best to follow the artists directly on social media or the Tattoo convention pages to see whose on there. 

Once you know then contact them that very same day and ask for a booking. If you miss out on this sometimes you can get lucky & squeeze a little tattoo in with one of the greats if they finish one of their big tattoos early. 

Top 10 Tattoo Conventions in the USA

10. United Ink No Limits Tattoo Convention: New York

No Limits Tattoo convention is one of the best in the United States & maybe even the world. Here you will find an abundance of vibrant activity, from live tattooing demos to live music and entertainment!

One of my favourite things about the No limits tattoo convention is the availability & accessibility of so many talented artists. With over 250 tattoo Picassos around you will be sure to find some real inspiration from them.

New York - Tattoo Convention/FestivalNew York – Tattoo Convention/Festival (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA)The no limits tattoo convention attracts some of the biggest names in the Tattoo industry with many who have tattooed many famous music starts, celebrities & movie icons.

Located at the easy to get to Resorts World Casino in Jamaica, New York City, this tattoo convention magnetises thousands of passionate tattoo fans from all over the world.

With around 40 vendors there is plenty of places to shop for cool merchandise, clothing and even new tattoo equipment if your an artist. 

New-York-Tattoo-Convention-Expo

New-York-Tattoo-Convention-Expo (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA)

When is the Tattoo Convention?

April 17 – April 19, 2020

Be aware: You must be 18+ to enter the Tattoo convention

Where is the Tattoo Convention?

Adress: Resorts World Casino New York City
110-00 Rockaway Blvd
Jamaica, New York,11420
United States

United Ink Convention – Charlotte, North Carolina:

United Ink the event organisers also does a great show in Charlotte, North Carolina. This usually runs late October. 

Date: 18th-20th October 2019. 

For more info on all United Ink Events check out their official website

9. Middle of the Map Tattoo Convention

Middle of the Map Tattoo Convention. Is a real Iowa extravaganza and fun packed event. With a great selection of live performances, vendors, entertainment, award shows and even a great silent auction & after party.

Set over a long weekend (Friday-Sunday) there is an awesome vibe at middle of the map and real community feel to the tattoo convention. 

middle-of-map-tattoo-expo

middle-of-map-tattoo-expo. Source: Middle of Map Expo

Next years event in 2020 is hosted by Bernadette Macias, a Tattoo Model, Sullen TV Host, and former judge on CMT’s Tattoo Titans.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Bernadette Macias (@itsmsbernadette) on

Award Show:

There are a variety of awards on offer at the tattoo convention. From the simple best tattoo color and Best tattoo black & white, on the Friday and Saturday to a much more extensive selection of awards on the Sunday. Here is the full list below:

  • Japanese
  • Traditional
  • New School
  • Back Tattoo
  • Geo/Mandala
  • Hand/Neck Tattoo
  • Flash Tattoo
  • Chest Tattoo
  • Best Lettering
  • Portrait (black and grey)
  • Portrait (color)
Middle-of-map-tattoo-festival

Middle-of-map-tattoo-festival (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA)

Silent Auction: 

Although many of these tattoo conventions might seem satantic is nature they are actually very warm spirited and tend to help alot with the community. 

For example, 100% of the proceeds of the 2020 silent auction, will be donated to a non profit charity called “Angles for Sam“.

 

Angels for Sam provides vital support to local families in the Des Moines area who may have been impacted financially by illness, injury or the loss of a loved one. 

To raise funds for this great organisation the 2020 tattoo convention will auction of a selection of fantastic hand painted skateboards created by a few talented artists. 

Note: This tattoo convention is suitable for all ages! But you must be 18 years old to get tattooed!

When is the Tattoo Convention?

JUNE 19th-21st
2020

Times: 
-Fri  2PM-Midnight
-Sat 11AM-Midnight
-Sun 11AM-8PM

Tickets:

Adults: 
one day wristband $20.00

weekend pass $40.00

Children: 

Children ages 6 years & under have free entry. 

7-12 yrs old
$10.00 for a one day wristband
$20.00 for a weekend Pass

Where is the Tattoo Convention?

Hy-Vee Hall/Iowa Hall of Pride
730 3rd St, Des Moines, Iowa 50309, United States of America

For more info see the official website.

8. Villain Arts Tattoo Convention – Tour! 

Villain Arts are back again with another spectacular Tattoo Convention! Having been in the industry for over 20 years you can be rest assured you will experience an unbelievable tattoo convention!

As a world renowned traveling tattoo convention expect a a line up of the best of best, a star studded selection of the finest tattoo artists with the greatest kit & a whole host of experience ready to transform you into a walking masterpiece!

 

Over 20 years ago “Tattooed” Troy Timpel a kingpin of Tattoo game, started “Villain Arts” at the first Philadelphia tattoo convention with the help of tattoo legend “Crazy” Philadelphia Eddie! Since then he has taken it the next level, turning it into a traveling tattoo festival across 21 U.S cities! From Texas to Tampa! 

As you would expect from one of the best in the business,  a number of celebrities can be spotted from movie icons to music and tv stars! These are usually getting their tattoo fix or even just taking in the sights like the rest of us.

Another regular occurrence at a villain arts tattoo convention is the filming of some wacky reality TV show like Best Ink, ink Master and even tattoo nightmares! 

villain-Tattoo-Expo

villain Tattoo Expo (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA) Source: Villain Expo IG

One of the things I loved when I attended villain arts tattoo convention was the real carnival style of the entire event with an array of exciting & jaw dropping performers making the whole occasion alot more than your standard tattoo convention. 

The three tattoo festival also includes a variety of tattoo competitions, art events and live painting & demos which are designed to showcase the tattoo artists multitude of talents! Highlights include tattoo flash painting, piercing and even extreme body modifications! 

 Tattoo memorabilia & Vendors: 

If your a collector Villain arts tattoo convention is the place for you! With many vendors selling rare art & merchandise which is great for avid tattoo art collectors and passionate fans! 

Tattoo Seminars/Workshops:

There are many great tattoo artist seminars which are great if you really want to improve your industry knowledge. These include, Q & A with veteran tattoo artists & legends to informative technical talks and demos for artists. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Great Mac Miller portrait by @tattoosmadebysomeone #Villainarts #tattooconvention #villainartsattendingartist #colortattoo #tattooartist

A post shared by Villain Arts Tattoo Convention (@villainarts) on

 

Performances & Entertainment:

Apart from the live music expect to see live aerobatic acts and even a burlesque show

Villain Arts Nation Tattoo Tour: 

The villain arts nation tour attracts over 40,000 tattoo enthusiasts each year! To the tattoo events scattered across the United States & even one in Canada! 

 Villain Arts Tattoo Conventions: 

  • Asheville (April)
  • Baltimore (May)
  • Kansas City (May) 
  • Council Bluffs (May)
  • Houston (June)
  • Dallas (June)
  • Oklahoma City (July) 
  • Portland (19th -21st July 2019)
  • Denver (2nd to 4th August 2019)

 

  • Wildwood (9th-11th August 2019)
  • Cincinnati ( 30th Aug – Sep 1st 2019)
  • New Orleans (Sep 6th – Sep 8th 2019)
  • Toronto (Sep 20th -22nd 2019)
  • Milwaukee (Sep 27th to 29th 2019)
  • Tampa (Oct 18th to 20th 2019)
  • Minneapolis (January 10th-12th 2020)
  • Philadelphia (January 17th-19th 2020)
  • Cleveland (February 21st -23rd 2020)
  • Atlanta (March 6th – 8th)
  • Chicago (March 20th -22nd 2020)
  • Kansas City (May 8th – 10th 2020)

Philadelphia Tattoo Convention:

 

Where is the Tattoo Convention?

Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St,
Philadelphia, PA 19107,
United States

Tickets:

Cost of admission is $22/Day, $45/3-Day pass, kids under 12 are free! Tickets are only sold at the door.

Villain Tattoo Expo/Convention :

Philadelphia Villain Tattoo Expo/Convention : Source: phillyvoice.com (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA) 

Celebrity Guests:

  • Kyle Dunbar from Ink Master Season 3 /4
  • Gian Karle Cruz Runner Up of Ink Master Season 8
    James Vaughn from Ink Master Season 7 & S1 finalist 
  • Anwon Boneface Johnson from Ink Master Season 8/9
    Shanghai KateBlack Ink Crew
    Alli Baker from Best Ink Season 2

For more info see the official website.

7. Huntsvegas Tattoo Expo – Alabama 

Huntsvegas Tattoo Convention, is a real newbie on the Tattoo Expo seen with it’s first tattoo event coming up in May 2020. The festival is set to be a stunner, and is hosted by talented artists and for artists! 

Huntsville or “Rocket City” as some call it is in the northern region of Alabama close the border of Tennessee. A popular Alabama tourist hotspot and home to NASAs Marshall space flight centre! 

Hunts-vegas-tattoo-Expo

Hunts-vegas-tattoo-Expo (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA) Source: huntsvegastattooexpo.com

As the city is really seeing some exciting development at the moment, Huntsvegas Tattoo Expo is the perfect hub to celebrate all things Ink! 

The first event will be hosted by extremely talented artist Erick “Rock” Long and Tony Johnson. 

With local bands playing live, tattoo competitions and a whole host of fun activities, this event is set to be a stunner! 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

We are honored to have Razor blade as a vender for Huntsvegas tattoo expo! @razorbladepro

A post shared by Huntsvegas Tattoo Expo (@huntsvegastattooexpo) on

 

A unique part of Huntsvegas Tattoo Convention will be the poker and black jack tables where you can win a $1000 tattoo from Platinum Koi Tattoo Studio! How brilliant is that?? 

Other attractions at the Tattoo Expo include tattoo award ceremony, beard contest, and the hillarious “Ugliest tattoo award” which really pokes fun at the worst creations!  

For kids, there are some fun sticker tattoos available so they can really feel part of the action. 

When is the Tattoo Convention? 

May 22-24 2020

Where is the Tattoo Convention? 

Von Braun Civic Center
700 Monroe St SW,
Huntsville, Alabama 35801

United States

TICKETS

Day Pass: $25

Weekend Pass: $60

For more info see the official website.

6. Get Inked – Miami

Get Inked Miami is an all round entertainment convention. With everything from Tattoos (Of course!) to henna tattoos and live entertainment.

Also included at Get inked are a variety of raffles, live music and venders serving great food, drinks and Merchandise such as Jewellery. 

Tattoo Contests: 

Great tattoo contests here include Best & worst tattoo (Always entertaining) to most epic beard and even greatest costume! 

Get-Inked-Miami

Get-Inked-Miami (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA) Source: get inked miami IG

When is the Tattoo Convention? 

October 12-13 2019

Where is the Tattoo Convention?

 Hyatt Regency Miami

400 SE 2nd Avenue
Miami, Florida 33131

United States

 

5. Villain Arts Tattoo Convention – Baltimore

As Villain Arts provides such a spectacular tattoo tour, we thought it deserved at least another spot on our top 10 list! Baltimore is a great one which is true to what we expect from Villain Arts, Live tattooing, Celebrity appearances and the best of the best tattoo artists from all over the world. 

When is the Tattoo Convention? 

May 2020 tbc

Where is the Tattoo Convention?

Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention
Baltimore Convention Center
1 W Pratt St, Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Hall F entrance is on Sharp St


 Tickets: 

 $20 Day / $40 3-Day Pass

Tickets can be bought at the door
Children under 12 are free

For more info see the official website.

 4. Tattoo Collectors Expo – Texas

Tattoo collectors convention in Texas is held annually are Arlington Convention Centre. The organisers promise each year to bring the best tattoo artists from around the world and they sure do deliver!

A real highlight of this expo is the Miss World Inked Finals, a competition of the best tattooed models from around the world!

Tattoo-collectors-expo-convention

Tattoo-collectors-expo-convention (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA) Source: Tattoo Collector Expo

Arlington, texas is also has many tourist attractions in it’s own right from Baseballs Texas Rangers to the Dallas Cowboys both having their stadiums within walking distance of the convention centre. 

When is the Tattoo Convention? 

March 27-29 2020 

Where is the Tattoo Convention?

1200 Ballpark Way, Arlington
TX 76011
United States

For more info see the official website.

 

3. New England Tattoo Expo 

A real star studded line up makes it’s way to New England for this awesome and extravagant, star studded tattoo Convention!  Hosted by Tom Ringwalk (A tattoo legend who has ran his own convention for the past 7 years) and Steve Tefft the winner on the TV show Ink Master 2. 

Expecting to become an annual event this first New England Tattoo Expo is going to be held at Mohegan Sun Expo center which is one of the most gigantic casinos in the attracted close to 40,000 people every day! 

New-England-Tattoo-Convention

New-England-Tattoo-Convention (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA) Source: New england Expo IG

As skilled veterans in the tattoo convention game the hosts Tom and Steve has meticulously planned this Tattoo convention to include the best factors which make up an ultimate tattoo convention.

From attracting 300 of the greatest and most talented tattoo artists, to a host of live entertainment here is a full list of the great things to look forward to below: 

• Celebrity artists from TV shows such as the hit series “Ink Masters”, Who will also sign autographs. 
• Over 300  talented and diverse international artists 
• Mind-blowing entertainment & live music
• Tattoos, piercings & Pin Up Contests
• Wacky cars & even monster trucks on site for picture taking
• Fully stocked bar & tasty food vendors 

New England Tattoo Convetion/Expo

Expect some of the best tattooing in the World at New England Tattoo Convention/Expo. Like this epic Japanese back tattoo (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA)

When is the Tattoo Convention? 

March 6-8 2020 

Where is the Tattoo Convention?

 Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd.
Uncasville, Connecticut 06382
United States

For more info see the official Website.

 

 

2. Hell City Tattoo Festival – Columbus, Ohio

 As seen on the History channel. Hells City is weekend long extravaganza which really gives you insight into the unique parts of tattoo culture.  

This Tattoo Expo is a very popular even and attracts thousands with a passion for entertainment and the tattoo community as a whole!

 

With live acts all across the weekend Hells City Tattoo Expo is fun for everyone with many unique performances & competitions which you won’t find at any other expo across the U.S.A. Such as live freak shows and an Art fusion experiment. 

Hells-City-Tattoo-Festival

Hells-City-Tattoo-Festival (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA) Source: Hells City IG

Other popular attractions at this expo include: 

  • Pin Up Girls 
  • Live Burlesque Shows 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Don’t miss @cervenafox performing a variety of Burlesque Act @hell_city “The Rapture” in Phoenix, Arizona August 23rd-25th @arizonabiltmore Resort & Spa! 🔥 @cervenafox brings her devilish ways to life through a sexy performance of burlesque dancing and elegant movement. Cervena Fox is a professional model and performer from London, England. Cervena has been performing since 2013 and travels around the world performing and modeling. She would love to meet everyone after her Hell City mainstage acts at her booth. Don’t miss this fox bringing sexy to HC MainStage in Phoenix, Arizona! Cervena will be performing all 3 days at Hell City!📷’s: @sobelle_ #hellcity #hellcity2019 #hellcitytattoofest #hell #festival #hellcitytattoofestival #artwork #tattoo #art #convention #liveart #artist #tattooartist #hellcityatthebiltmore #tattoos #hc #arizona #hellcityphoenix #therapture #hellcityarizona #phoenix #burlesque #sobelle #cervenafox

A post shared by Hell City Tattoo Festival (@hell_city) on

  • Tattoo Seminars
  • Live music 
  • Fine Art Galley 
Hells-City-Tattoo-event

Hells-City-Tattoo-event (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA) Source: Hells City IG

When is the Tattoo Convention? 

August 23-25 2019 

Where is the Tattoo Convention?

Hyatt Regency Columbus
Greater Columbus Convention Center
350 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215

U.S.A

 

 

 

 

For more info see the official Website.

1. Motor City Tattoo Festival – Detroit 

A real veteran of the Tattoo Expo industry Motor City Convention has been going strong for over 20 years! With many dubbing the convention itself as still one big party and a whole load of fun!

Motor-City-Tattoo-Festival-Detroit

Motor-City-Tattoo-Festival-Detroit (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA) Source: Motorcity IG

From stunning skin art to live tattoos and even a catwalk area where the best of the best can show of there works! Set over three days, Motor city tattoo expo really merges together the new with the old in terms of tattoo artists styles from traditional to script, new school and black. & grey.

With over 300 talented tattoo artists set out over 170 booths you will surely find something to get that fire burning! 


 

The Motor City Tattoo Expo is an awesome opportunity to really get your teeth into the tattoo game. From learning Tattoo culture & skills from Seminars to experiencing the live entertainment. With a variety of Tattoo contests and live entertainment this is definitely one of the greatest tattoo expos in the USA. 

Located inside the General Motors Renaissance Building,  on the Detroit riverfront. Check out the luxury Marriott hotel, bars and food vendors all inside the building! So you can definitely have an all night party if you wish…with out even going outside. 

 

When is the Tattoo Convention? 

March 2020 tbc

Where is the Tattoo Convention?

Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center
400 Renaissance Center,ß
Detroit, MI 48243
United States

For more info see the official Website.

Motor-City-Tattoo-Convention

Motor-City-Tattoo-Convention (Best Tattoo Conventions/Tattoo Expos/Tattoo Festivals USA) Source: Motorcity IG

What would be your dream tattoo??

Drop it in the comments below and for every share of this article on Facebook you will have a chance of winning your dream tattoo!

Winner to be announced at one of the tattoo expos above! 

For more wacky U.S Festivals Check out the Underwater Music Festival In Florida! 

About the author

Town & Tourist

A travel resource guide that has been carefully crafted and curated by travel bloggers to help you find the best places to travel to in the USA.