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The Crack Magazine

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Think Ink

It’s big, it’s Northern – and it’s back. We are, of course, talking about the Big North Tattoo Show, which will be returning to Newcastle’s Utilita Arena for its 6th year. Spanning across the 27th and 28th of April, the north-east’s favourite tattoo convention is bringing back almost 300 incredible tattoo artists under one roof, all ready to give you the artwork you’ve been waiting for.

The Big North Tattoo Show, which runs in association with Total Tattoo Magazine, will be home to some of the UK’s best tattooists for the weekend, and whether you’re a tattoo enthusiast, have always wanted to know more about the art form, or just want a fun, creative and totally unique day out for the family, then the Big North Tattoo Show is where it’s at. You can check out the official Instagram page @bignorthtattooshow for a look at exactly which artists will be attending this year, but we can promise you one thing – you’ll be absolutely spoiled for choice.

Whether you love black and grey realism, colourful traditional or dainty minimalism, there will be an artist there that does it bigger and better than you’d ever imagined. Literally, if you’ve ever had the wildest whim of an idea for a tattoo, we can guarantee there’s at least four or five artists there that have already done something similar – and better than you’d even thought possible.

If you have a particular artist that you’ve been dying to get tattooed by, it’s usually best to plan ahead and drop them a message to make sure you can secure your slot. There’s nothing worse than being disappointed when you realise they’re fully booked! However if you’re much more of a seize the moment kind of a person, plenty will be taking walk ups on the day. So even if you have no intention of getting tattooed, you might just find yourself leaving with a fresh new design.

If you’ve never been to a tattoo convention before it might feel a little overwhelming, but the premise is simple: the arena will be lined with incredible artists who are ready and waiting to tattoo you during the weekend. You get to immerse yourself in the buzz (quite literally – you’ll be surrounded by the buzz of machines) as well as get to grips with just how many brilliant artists are out there.

If you’re not feeling up to going under the needle, the artists will also be offering less permanent artwork to take home like prints, stickers and original designs, and there’s a huge variety of other trade stands there to shop too. You can pick up everything from jewellery and taxidermy to painted furniture and clothes, and you’ll never find yourself bored as there’s always plenty of entertainment happening on the main stage.

You’ll get to watch the winning artists and tattoo designs be chosen from a whole host of categories, or watch live performances from several different acts, including The Fuel Girls, who’ll be hitting the Big North Tattoo Show’s stage for another year. Their troupe has travelled all over the world, and put on an amazing choreographed performance that’s full of fun, flames and more – so you might want to take a step back if you’re in the front row. There are also plenty of places to grab some food or a drink, which you can carry with you as you wander the aisles looking at the artwork.

The event will run from Saturday 27th until Sunday 28th of April, and advance ticket holders will be able to arrive from 10:30am on both days. If you’re planning on just showing up, you can of course nab tickets on the door, but you won’t be able to go in until 11:45am. The convention will be closed at 9:30pm on Saturday, with the doors officially closing for another year at 7pm on Sunday – so make sure you book any appointments in time! Tickets will cost £22.25 for a day pass, or you can bag a weekend ticket for just £38.75 – perfect if you want plenty of time to get tattooed one day then mooch around on the other. Head to Big North Tattoo Show’s website to book your tickets and see who’s tattooing: www.bignorthtattooshow.com.

Big North Tattoo Show, Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 April, Utilita Arena, Newcastle, utilitaarena.co.uk

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