Details about the first tattoo convention in Swindon, UK, have been revealed (Image: Getty)
A lot of people have staged an event. But few have had to lobby for a change in the council’s licensing policy to get their event off the ground.
But that’s exactly what Gary Watts, Swindon’s first-ever tattoo show organizer, had to do.
The Great Western Tattoo Show will be held over two days, July 29 and 30, at Steam Museum and will showcase some of the best tattooists from around the UK.
It required a change in licensing policy from Swindon Borough Council to allow an artist licensed elsewhere to practice in Swindon for the weekend without paying the full £218 fee for the license but instead buying a £26 five-day license.
And it has paid off – so many tattoo artists from across the country have signed up to come and show their works and skills at the weekend it has had to expand to more rooms in Steam.
Mr. Watts stated: “We have about 80 tattooists from all over the nation coming. They are all well-known artists in their respective areas.”
We would only be in the main room, but now we have to go to the smaller Holdsworth Hall and the outdoor area.
“I was a bit nervous about using Steam for the first show – there aren’t many other suitable venues in Swindon, so I’m relieved many artists and other traders want to come along.”
The show will also feature sponsors like Old Eltons Clothing, which produces tattoo-themed apparel, Black Tears Rum, as well as Chupacabra Taxidermy.
Mr Watts stated: “It is taxidermy.” Many traders travel to tattoo shows and cater to their audience.
Tattoos are becoming more popular, and the tattooists who own Black Heart Ink on Bridge Street in Swindon believe that this is the first show in Swindon that has contributed to the influx of tattoo artists. “There have already been shows for over 20 years, but more have appeared as tattoos became more popular.”
The Great Western Tattoo Show was the first of its kind in Swindon. The name, Steam Rains, is part of our brand, and the venue, Steam, makes it all fit together.
“I’ve been working hard to get the artists. Now I want Swindon residents to know about the event and mark their calendars.” You can either get tattooed or watch or look. art.”
See www.gwts.co.uk or www.steam-museum.org.uk/event/the-great-western-tattoo-show for more details.
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