Not for the squeamish - London Tattoo Convention comes to Wapping
by Victoria Huntley THOUSANDS of body art enthusiasts are due to converge on the East End this weekend as the fourth annual London International Tattoo Convention comes t
THOUSANDS of body art enthusiasts are due to converge on the East End this weekend as the fourth annual London International Tattoo Convention comes to Wapping.
Having outgrown its original home at Brick Lane's Old Truman Brewery, the tattoo extravaganza moved to Tobacco Dock in 2008.
Last year more than 20,000 fans of body art packed the Wapping venue to its vaulted ceilings and organisers expect even more to throng to the listed Victorian warehouses for what has been named 2009's "Number One Alternative Event Of The Year".
More than 200 of the world's most famous and celebrated tattooists will be practicing their art at the three day festival, which starts tomorrow (Friday), including such UK luminaries as London Ink's Nicole Low, Alex Binnie from Clerkenwell studio Into You and Lal Hardy of New Wave in Muswell Hill.
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International tattooing stars have flown in from all corners of the globe, including Filip Leu and Shige who will represent the best of the Japanese style, specialists in Chicago style Boog and Jose Lopez and Robert Hernandez who will be demonstrating his realistic-cinema-like style.
For the duration of the festival Tobacco Dock will be home to exhibitions, artistic events, live rock bands, seductive burlesque performers from round the world and numerous dark, jaw-dropping, alternative dances and sideshows, as well as a range of traditional East End themed bars, restaurants and food stalls.
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The massive, spectacular underground vault floor, with extensive sprawling nooks and crannies, will host a fetish market with coffee shops and bars licensed until 1am and London's legendary fetish club Torture Garden will host a party with dark, alternative sideshows and entertainment.
The real stars of the show will be the visitors who will compete in tattoo contests for different categories, including best tribal tattoo, best backpiece, best black and grey, best colours and best in show.
The festival starts at 11am tomorrow, Friday and runs until Sunday.
Tickets cost �20 per day or �50 for a three-day pass from www.thelondontattooconvention.com