Australasia’s largest tattoo festival returns to Taranaki

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New Zealand Tattoo and Arts Festival organiser Brent Taylor watches on as the TSB Stadium is transformed for the 9th annual event.

ANDY JACKSON/STUFF

New Zealand Tattoo and Arts Festival organiser Brent Taylor watches on as the TSB Stadium is transformed for the 9th annual event.

Thousands of walking canvases are set to descend on Taranaki this weekend for the ninth annual New Zealand Tattoo and Arts Festival.

The event, organised by Brent Taylor, will be held at New Plymouth’s TSB Stadium and has attracted international visitors.

While there will be more than 300 artists, the two-day spectacular will also feature live bands, freestyle motocross rider Levi Sherwood, Jed Mildon – the first and only BMX rider to land a quadruple backflip  – and a range of other entertainment.

Artist Joey Ortega from Austin Texas works on Georgia Dolan from Dunedin. (file photo)

GRANT MATTHEW/STUFF

Artist Joey Ortega from Austin Texas works on Georgia Dolan from Dunedin. (file photo)

Taylor said while he had always planned to grow the festival he didn’t expect it to reach the level it had.

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“When it started off it was more just about the tattooing and now it includes all of that entertainment too, like bigger bands. There is just more for the general public, so if you aren’t interested in tattoos you can still see a lot.”

Performer Cervena Fox puts on a fiery display. (file photo)

GRANT MATTHEW/STUFF

Performer Cervena Fox puts on a fiery display. (file photo)

The 2019 festival will boast 150 international artists, including 50 from the USA and others from Europe, and Taylor said getting a booth was sought after.

“Now they contact me, I don’t have to reach out to anyone any more. I have already got people from America trying to get in next year.”

Taylor said the event also attracted a number of overseas visitors who especially wanted to get inked by their favourite tattooist.

Lucky Diamond Rich the world's most tattooed man. (file photo)

JOHN VELVIN/STUFF

Lucky Diamond Rich the world’s most tattooed man. (file photo)

“There’s lots of Australians that come over for it, because the artists that come here don’t go there. They only place they can do it is New Plymouth.”

He said the appeal of tattoos had evolved during the years and the festival crowd was a melting pot of society.

“Everyone just comes down and has a really good time and that kind of just keeps growing it.”

The festival opens at 11am on Saturday and tickets are available at Ticketek or at the gate.

 

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