Arts & Culture » Culture

Catch an Unconventional Convention at 208 Tat2Fest

Friday, May 25-Sunday, May 27


Get ready to see all sorts of dragons, Chinese symbols, nautical-themed designs and inked pledges to ex-lovers—the inaugural 208 Tat2Fest is going down in Boise Friday, May 25, through Sunday, May 27.

The ink-fest gets started May 25 with a kick-off party at Fatty's, and the rest of the weekend's festivities take place at Expo Idaho. More than 70 tattoo artists from across the country will be featured, along with a dizzying number of live music and events, including a skate jam and competition, as well as a street bike stunt show by Fallen Angel Stunters.

According to event organizer and founder Kay Lee McGoldrick, Boise seemed like a great place to host an unconventional tattoo convention.

"I was surprised there wasn't an annual convention in Boise because of the number of tattoo studios here, and the amount of support for tattoos here," McGoldrick said.

The 208 Tat2Fest has all the skin-art goodness of a regular convention, but according to McGoldrick, it'll be more like a festival, with music and entertainment that caters to a variety of interests.

McGoldrick said organizers wanted the festival to include a broad spectrum of events because "tattoos aren't for one kind of person anymore."

The fest will feature winners from the custom bike and car competitions, which concluded April 30. The 14 finalists will be on display at the convention. You can vote for your favorite in the people's choice award category, with expert advice from Von Hotrod, an internationally known pinstriper.

You can also vote for your favorite pin-up and get a calendar, featuring 12 ladies striking Betty Page-esque poses at Boise-area landmarks such as the Capitol Building and Egyptian Theatre.

The convention will also feature tattoo contests, with winners in myriad categories. One best-of-show artist will take home a 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass.

A Pin-up Poker Run will be held Saturday, May 26, and custom motorcycle and car owners can participate in the all-ages event, which is a sort of poker scavenger hunt.

Tickets are available at venues throughout the Treasure Valley and online. Visit the event's website for more info on vendors or to purchase tickets electronically.