Review: The International London Tattoo Convention 2019

There’s a little bit of a milestone to celebrate this year as The International London Tattoo Convention reaches its 15th birthday. The event has grown and developed over the years becoming recognised as globally as a ground breaking and must visit event. Tobacco Dock is once again full of ink lovers ranging from professionals within the industry to the curious wanting to know more.

There’s always a great vibe at this convention. While it’s very busy the pace is easy and there’s always plenty of attractions to keep everyone attending interested. Of course you’re never far away from the hum of tattoos being created. Many people book with internationally renowned artists while they are in town. There are plenty of people walking around like living art showing just how diverse the tattoo world is.

Once again the stages draw plenty of attention too.  This year the Fuel Girls return with their amazing show of fire and aerial skills. Pyrohex may not be here this time but former member Cervena Fox has brought her Queen Of The Damned show to wow the audience. There’s also burlesque from Marie Devilreux and sword swallowing from Rachel Atlas.

There’s a chained pet zombie who looks frightening enough to make a few people jump. Robots walking around like they’re about to take over the world.  An impressive display of cool looking bikes sits at one end of the dock. There are art exhibitions dotted around and plenty of bars and food stalls. The food it has to be said is excellent and offers a great range of choice without being bank breaking. This year’s bands include Hells Bells and veteran rockers The Quireboys.

If The International London Tattoo Convention proves anything it’s that the popularity of the tattoo is as strong as ever, and that the tattoo community really is one big family. Less a convention and more a social gathering this is an event where the emphasis is on meeting friends and making new ones, having a good time with no pressure and all for the love of ink. The International London Tattoo Convention has a very special vibe to it. Long may it continue.

Review and photos by Gary Trueman