Before heading to Dallas, I had heard only rumors and what I thought had to be tall-tales of the weekend in store at Oliver Peck's third annual Elm Street Music and Tattoo Festival. When all of the dust settled, I’m pleased to report in hindsight, our time spent in Dallas was everything it was cracked up to be, and maybe a little more.
This year’s expo took place at Trees, a music venue just minutes down the road from Peck’s infamous Elm Street Tattoo, in arty Deep Ellum, Texas. In contrast from your standard and somewhat stark convention center, Trees had just the vibe for the occasion. Convention banners tapered over brick-lined walls adorned in signed guitars and music posters.
The buzzing of machines was quieted only by AC/DC blaring over the speakers, as clients lined up to take their pick of the heavy-hitter line-up of world-class tattooers. Seldom do you find a convention that places such a large emphasis on quality over quantity, but nothing less should be expected when Oliver Peck is choosing the roster.
The itinerary called for work all day, and play all night — and much to the dismay of our livers, we didn’t dare deviate from the plan. After-hours entertainment included your not-so-average freak show complete with fire-eating, sword-swallowing, a mariachi band playing Heavy Metal covers, a tattoo art exhibit at Elm Street Gallery, karaoke, live music, mini-golf and dice games... and that’s just scratching the surface. It was an all-singing, all-dancing, three days complete with good energy, good people, good tattoos, and lots of rock n’ roll.
From beginning to end, the weekend was an impeccably planned excuse to celebrate community and comradery amongst friends who have traveled far and wide to sit alongside each other, sharing their art, their stories, and a drink or five. All in all, it was a damn success.
We’d like to thank Oliver Peck and Audra Cabral for being the hosts with the most.