Tattoo Convention Berlin; Even The Heat Couldn’t Keep People Away:
Tattoo Convention Berlin, it is incredible to think this event has been going on for 28 years. But if you were among the people, attending the convention this weekend, you would not be surprised. From the moment you arrive at the convention, they set the mood. They even had a rather peculiar yet very funny mascot of sorts, welcoming people to the event. A man dressed in a golden muscle suit, greeting people warmly at the entrance to the event.
But the fun didn’t stop there, as soon as you went through the big gate to the convention main hall, you could hear the buzz of tattoo machines and people having a great time. Enjoying art, tattoos, piercings and all sorts of merchandise. Not even the unbearable heatwave that hit Berlin this weekend, could keep people away or keep the atmosphere from being buzzing.
However, it did help and it was a stroke of genius, to not only have an outside area with lots of benches and food trucks. But even water hoses set up, for people to cool down under. Indeed, the atmosphere was chill even in this heat, people had a great time at this event and got to enjoy world class tattooing for the whole weekend.
With a legendary event like Tattoo Convention Berlin, you need a venue that can live up to its hype and magnitude.
To put it shortly, Frank Weber (the organizer) picked the perfect venue for this convention. Treptaw Arena Berlin, seemed like it was made for tattoo convention. Not only that, but the way all the booths and stalls were planned out, as well as the stages and bars. The whole event just had perfect synnergy with the venue.
The booths were all set up, so that guests would naturally get around to see all of the event. No artists or traders felt left out, from the sea of guests that attended the event. Not only that, but the plenty of bars and vendors, both inside and outside at the venue, made sure that everyone were refreshed at all times.
The stages were also placed perfectly, with one being inside (the main stage) and one outside (smaller stage for entertainment mainly), as well as being placed at opposite ends of the venue. This made sure that the entertainment didn’t clash with one another, as well as keeping the flow of guests moving along nicely. Truly they utilized the venue to its fullest, so that everyone could enjoy the convention to its fullest.
When it comes to the staff at this prestigious event, there is not much to be said. They showed the full extent of German and Berlin hospitality. Despite some not being the best English speakers, they still did all they could to make sure the event ran smoothly and the guests could have a good time. As well as making sure the attending artists and traders had everything they needed.
From the bar to the floor staff and VIP handlers, everyone knew what to do, and the event ran like a smooth and well oiled machine. It was also great that, despite what we said above, that a fair bit of the staff were well versed in English, making the fairly large amount of foreign guests feel more at ease, when ordering their beer or food etc.
All in all, the staff together with the venue made for a great atmosphere. Especially in regards to the two speakers, among which especially one stole the spotlight a bit. The German radio host Diana Richter. Who despite having no tattoos was a great fan of the event for years and did a great job of getting the audience going and participating (full interview with Diana to come).
Tattoo Convention Berlin 28 had plenty of entertainment. Both something for the rocking and something for the more chilled out. Everything from freak shows to acoustic pop, divided among their 2 stages.
There were even traditional Tahitian belly dancers, who performed quite the lovely show on stage.
When it came to live bands, the diversity kept going, with German rap artists (who are quite good) and even Acoustic music, out on the outdoor stage. Giving the audience something to chill out to. And rocking bands on the indoor main stage, inbetween the tattoo competitions and freak show performances. There were even Dj’s to help set the mood, when their was nothing going on on stage, an awesome and nice touch.
The final bit of entertainment which stood apart from all the rest, was the Miss Tattoo Germany competition, which took place on the saturday, in which around 30 stunning tattooed beauties from all over Germany, competed for 3 coveted titles, Vice Miss Tattoo Berlin, Miss Tattoo Berlin and Tattoo Queen. We even got to interview 2 of the winners and the former Miss Tattoo Germany (2017), so keep an eye out for an article to come on that.
There was quite the large variety of traders and other interesting stuff, at this years Tattoo Convention Berlin.
All spread out among all the artists all over the convention main hall. Everything from the usual piercing and tattoo equipment traders, to several high profile magazines, such as Tattoo Life.
There was something for everyone, whether you wanted a cool medallion, some awesome Sullen Clothing or perhaps some epic jewelry for either your neck, fingers or ears. Cheyenne were even present with quite the booth, (as well as with quite the artist presence). There was even quite the metal artist, creating some incredible furniture and sculptures, all from metal (some even from scrap metal, article to come on him).
The “trader”, so to speak, who stood out the most, was Will Robinson. The guy had come all the way from Britain, to set up an awesome tattoo museum at the event. Not only that, but will was so excited to show and teach people, more about the history of tattoos, that it became almost a how in and of itself. One you should feel ashamed if you missed!
He even had a replica of Ötzi, for people to take photographs with.
Tattoo Convention Berlin 28 did not disappoint when it came to artists. There were an incredible amount of them and with the amount of people attending, everyone had something to do. Not only that, but everyone seemed to have exactly the space they needed in their booths, being able to work just have they prefer to, with their chosen method of tattooing.
There was also a great variety of artists, from all over the world. Of course you expect to see a lot of German artists at such an event in Berlin. But it was a pleasant surprise to see artists from all over. People came all the way from South East Asia, Vietnam, Japan and other countries. All masters of their craft. People from Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic and many more countries.
The convention also pulled in some rather big names in the tattoo world, with the 4 biggest names their being Teresa Sharpe (US), Randy Engelhardt (DE, was also a judge on the competition jury), Julian Siebert (DE) and Shige Yellowblaze (JP). All of whom created some stunning pieces all throughout the weekend.
The competition was incredibly tough in all categories at this convention. But of course it would be with so many talented artists there, from all over the world. Every single competition was packed full of participants. Even best small and best weird, which aren’t always the most popular categories, had more than plenty participants.
Even at the 28th Tattoo Convention Berlin. The news of Rick Genes’ (Zombie Boy) death did not go unnoticed. In his memory, Zsa Zsa (owner of Z Tattoo, SWE), proposed that an impromptu face tattoo competition was held in his honor. Quite the awesome and heartfelt gesture, which added yet another awesome category to the list of competitions, and one which has never been seen before.
The most coveted titles as always remained the best of day and best of show titles. One tattoo and one artist however stole the whole show this year. Taking home not only one of the best of day categories, but also the best of show category, among other categories, all with the same amazing realistic tattoo, of Brad Pit as a tank commander from the movie Fury. This incredible artist was Nakata from Bulgaria, working out of Edo Tattoo in Germany.
Tattoo Convention Berlin is over for this year. But we are certain it will be back, even stronger next year. Even though it will be difficult to top such a great event, as what they hosted this year. But knowing Frank Weber, we are sure he will find a way. This year was incredible and we know we had a blast, so did anyone attending this awesome event.
(All pictures by Marcus Anderson @inkandreality)