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Leeds Tattoo Expo to Leave Its Mark at Its Biggest Event Yet

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

First Direct Arena is the venue for this year’s huge tattoo convention.

Leeds International Tattoo Expo

The Leeds International Tattoo Expo is back this summer with a huge weekend of tats, music and shopping at First Direct Arena.

Leeds Tattoo Expo has gone from strength to strength since starting out in 2014 – and this year, they’re swapping Leeds Dock Hall for a brand new home at First Direct Arena. The Expo will take over the whole auditorium from Saturday 8th to Sunday 9th July 2017 – and entry is just £12.

The bigger venue allows for them to offer more tattooists and stalls, which means they’re building up to be the best one yet. They have more than 150 renowned tattoo artists on show across the weekend, with local talent sitting alongside folk from further afield, such as Lemon Sniff from Berlin, Pablo Sinalma from Barcelona and Rio Adrenalink from Venezia – it’s the perfect chance to get inked by some of the world’s best artists.

Leeds International Tattoo Expo

The artists themselves are the centre of attention, but the Expo will also feature a huge market area, featuring the likes of Killer Ink, Big Dog’s Tattoo Furniture, Emilie Verity Taxidermy, Kid Slug Clothing Company, UK Custom Plugs and Fat Robot Cartooonist – a little something for everyone, whether you need a stuffed owl or some new threads.

The extra space also means they have much more entertainment lined up for 2017. They have two stages to fill, and while they haven’t announced the acts yet, you can expect music along with incredible performances from the fire-breathing, angle-grinding, poi spinning, trapeze artist dancers, Steel Cats. The most popular event of the weekend though will be their tattoo competitions as the artists will battle it out for Best of Day recognition.

Leeds International Tattoo Expo

Katie Lawes, one of the people organising this year’s Expo, told us more about what to expect this year, “We are absolutely ecstatic to be holding the convention at the Arena this year, we couldn’t be happier to be in such a prestigious venue! The change of venue has allowed us to invite more artists and also means that we can have two stages featuring live music, fire breathers, circus performers and of course, the tattoo competitions. This year’s list features the best artists in Leeds as well as some of the UK’s top names, plus incredible artists from Spain, Greece, Canada and South Korea.”

Organised by the folk at Ultimate Skin on New Briggate, one of the shops that’s made Leeds a tattoo destination, the Expo is now one of the biggest of its kind in the North and will attract thousands of people to the city. Here’s hoping this is just a sign of things to come.

The Leeds International Tattoo Expo is at First Direct Arena on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th July 2017.