The brainchild of promoter extraordinaire Jon Henderson and his cohorts, the Drawin’ the Wildcard Tattoo Expo returns to Atlantic City for a lucky seventh year June 24-26.
Seven years ago unconventional entertainment guru Jon Henderson and his buds Marc Fairchild and Terry Manning saw more potential than what was then the trend for tattoo and body-art enthusiasts, which was basically a series of small, one-day shows and seminars around the country.
Their vision was to bring tattoo tradesmen together in Atlantic City for a gala extravaganza that not only included artists and tattoo recipients comparing notes, but also seminars, tattoo contests, vendors, live music and the kind of off-the-wall entertainment Henderson has become well known for in A.C.
It worked, and like his other big event his company Unsuited Entertainment promotes in A.C. — the annual Celebration of the Suds beer festival each spring — the Drawin’ the Wildcard Tattoo Expo has gained momentum since its start, and is now touted as the largest event of its kind in the nation. This year’s version will take place at Bally’s Atlantic City from Friday to Sunday, June 24-26, and is expected to draw over 5,000 attendees.
“The Tattoo expo will feature a little bit for everyone,” says Henderson. “While the main focus is the opportunity to get tattooed by any of 60-plus tattoo artists from around the globe, the event also promises to astonish and amaze with its circus antics and sideshows.”
Entertainment includes an appearance by Dr. Blasphemy — a national, award-winning DJ, emcee and comedian. Tattoo contests will take place Saturday evening at 6pm, with about a dozen categories including Best Overall Male, Best Overall Female and Best of Show.
Seminars will be conducted by Marshall Bennett, who will demonstrate techniques in black and grey, photo realism, portraits and wildlife. Rose Marie Beauchemin will offer an introduction to permanent cosmetic procedures, and internationally award-winning artist Halo (of Tattoos By Halo!) will demonstrate all aspects of the color tattoo from start to finish and everything in between.
Ticket prices are $15 per day, $25 for a two-day pass and $35 for a three-day pass. An adult must accompany anyone under the age of 18. Kids under 12 get in free with a parent or guardian. Tickets will be available at the door.
Hours are 2-10pm Friday, noon-10pm Saturday, and noon-6pm Sunday.
For more information, go here or call 252-636-0333.
“All and all I’m excited to bring the festival back — I think it was a piece missing from Atlantic City.”
Plus, Wildwood Tattoo event, the Album of the Week and Drew Toonz.
The work was classy, along the lines of the pin-ups drawn by Alberto Vargas or Olivia De Berardiniz. You could tell because Eldis already had a pretty cool completed pin-up on his right arm — part of the special birthday present he was giving himself.
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