Ten tattoo conventions not to miss in 2017
From Edinburgh to Brighton and plenty in between, we've had a look at the tattoo conventions you should consider this year
Your new year's resolution might be to try something new, so why not let an artist stick a needle into your arm hundreds and hundreds of times in a row with what seems like no release? If you're thinking of getting inked in 2017, you might want to have a look at your options, suss out local artists, and see who – and what – is right for you. Our round-up of tattoo conventions not to be missed this year will help make your decision a bit easier – if not less painful.
Tattoo Tea Party
Roll up for the mystical attractions that can be found within Manchester's Tattoo Tea Party. The ink is almost secondary to the entertainment over the weekend: think a sideshow illusions show, a body painting arena, a gentleman's deathmatch and a powerlifting competition. Not to mention the afterparty, which is always killer.
Sat 4 & Sun 5 Mar, EventCity, Manchester.
Scottish Tattoo Convention
Scotland's biggest tattoo convention rolls around into its seventh year, bringing you ever more artists from even further-flung corners of the globe. Folks appearing this year are coming from as far afield as LA, Berlin and Treviso, as well as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Fife locals. As far as entertainment is concerned, there's daredevil vaudeville wife-and-husband duo Til Death Do Us Part, as well as the lycra-clad peeps of Insane Championship Wrestling, and fetish model and burlesque performer Cervena Fox.
Sat 25 & Sun 26 Mar, Edinburgh Corn Exchange.
Liverpool Tattoo Convention
It's party central at Liverpool Tattoo Convention this year, as the con reaches double figures. As well as hundreds of tattooists desperate to get stuck into you (literally), they're putting on a proper show of entertainment. There's live bands, risqué entertainment (think fire and near nakedness), as well as competitions running literally all day – so get showing your ink off.
Fri 5-Sun 7 May, Britannia Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool.
Brighton Tattoo Convention
Another con turning ten this year, Brighton Tattoo Convention are pulling out the big guns to make sure their anniversary goes with a bang, All the talented local artists will be there, as well as the city's inked pals from across the globe, and hundreds of stalls and exhibitions to take in.
Sat 13 & Sun 14 May, The Brighton Centre.
Northern Ireland Tattoo Convention
Your NI tattoo pals are around to get inking, with global guests and local big names aplenty. On top of all that needling, the convention has a whole host of entertainment lined up, notably the semi-final heats of Miss Pin Up Ireland.
Sat 20 & Sun 21 May, Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Bristol Tattoo Convention
A trad tattoo convention from Bristol, with an artist lineup to get your skin itching in anticipation, plus competitions (think Best Large Colour, Best Traditional, Best Portrait, etc), merch stalls, trade stands and entertainment.
Sat 10 & Sun 11 Jun, Brunel's Old Station, Bristol.
York International Tattoo Convention
The kings and queens of the tattoo world show face at York International for a weekend of artistic endeavours and hard partying. As well as award-winning tattooists from all over the world, visitors can explore body modification and explore the suspension acts (probably not for the squeamish among you).
Sat 24 & Sun 25 Jun, New Earswick Club, York.
The International Leeds Tattoo Exposition
Leeds Tattoo Expo is entering its fourth year with a weekend jammed full of delights for anyone interested in body art. Tattooists pack out First Direct Arena, so there's no shortage of styles and genres to choose from. As well as that, you can browse the aisles of stalls – from tattoo supplies to kids clothes to taxidermy – and take in live entertainment. Don't forget the afterparty.
Sat 8 & Sun 9 Jul, First Direct Arena, Leeds.
Cardiff International Tattoo Convention
The theme this year in Cardiff is Freakshow Carnival, so embrace your oddities. You've got artists, traders and stalls, but there's also entertainment from alt model Mz Bones, the chance to learn your destiny from tarot and palm reader Anna Lee, cosplay competitions, and a visit from the Official 501st UK Garrison Star Wars Costuming Club.
Sat 15 & Sun 16 Jul, Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff.
London International Tattoo Convention
Three days of nothing but tattoo goodness for Londoners to revel in at LITC. You've got the boatloads of artists showcasing their wares, but, more than that, you can take in one of the many stages of entertainment – everything from girls playing with fire to models and live music – as well as the trade stalls, food and refreshment areas, and art exhibitions.
Fri 22-Sun 24 Sep, Tobacco Dock, London.