At Its Sixth Offering, Elm Street Tattoo’s Annual Festival Once Again Celebrated Tattoos And The Many Related Cultures That Thrive Alongside That Craft.
Photos by Karlo X. Ramos.
For the sixth straight year, the crew behind Oliver Peck and Dean William’s Elm Street Tattoo shop spent the weekend celebrating their craft all along the street from which they took their name.
Actually, they did more than just that: Per usual, and has been the case since the very first edition of their namesake Elm Street Tattoo & Music Festival back in 2013, this year’s affair also once again celebrated a number of other cultures that thrive right alongside tattooing — something Peck knows a thing or two about, for sure.
Still, it’s safe to say that this year’s event — hosted, at least in part, at Club Dada, Three Links, Trees, The Heart in Hand Gallery and Elm Street Tattoo itself — was more even focused on its tattooing aspect than it historically has been.
Granted, there were still plenty concerts to be taken in as part of the festivities — regular festival invitees Lower Class Brats, Lucero (announced as Ben Nichols & Friends to avoid radius clause issues with its June show at House of Blues), Old Heavy Hands, former/sorta locals Riverboat Gamblers and definite locals Vandoliers, Mothership and House Harkonnen all performed, along with others — and there was even an art show hosted at the Elm Street Tattoo sister spot Heart in Hand Gallery at one point.
But, for the most part, the festivities centered around the tattooing that took place at Trees, Heart in Hand and Elm Street Tattoo itself, with a number of Peck’s Ink Master pals joining in on that action.
That seems fitting. Elm Street Tattoo has been established as a landmark parlor in tattoo culture for the better part of three decades at this point, and there ain’t no shame in focusing most on what you do best. Quite the opposite, actually: There’s glory in it.
After all, there’s a reason why this festival has always listed “tattoo” before “music” in its name. It’s because it’s keenly aware of what it is and what it’s supposed to be.
Just like all the best fests, really.