Watch: Manchester’s 15th annual International Tattoo Convention

  • Over the Halloween Weekend (29-30 October), Manchester held its 15th annual International Tattoo Show
  • Thousands of customers descended on Manchester to see what the show had to offer including: live tattoo exhibitions, alternative fashion shows, and alternative art
  • Watch below for our full report on the convention

Watch our full report on the Manchester International Tattoo Show:


First arriving in Manchester in 2001, 2016 marks the 15th consecutive year of the Manchester Tattoo Convention.

Hosted at Manchester Central, this event brought artists and musicians from across the globe, giving the people of Manchester a huge variety of things to see and buy. Ranging from tattoos and home-grown art and clothing businesses all the way to alternative body painting, there was something for every lover of alternative art and fashion.

The Manchester Tattoo Convention had everything you could have imagined, and more. Whether you were wanting to simply admire the extensive range of artist masterpieces from a distance, or get them permanently engraved on your skin, the Manchester Tattoo Convention is certainly the place to be.

Brave young man gets his hands inked
Brave young man gets his hands inked

We met a number of different tattooists, some local, some from all across Europe. Matt Rules, a tattoo artist from France, came to Manchester for the first time specifically for the convention. His booth proved popular, though, as we even spoke to a customer who had travelled from London to get specifically get inked by Matt.

Matt Rules shows off his tats
Matt Rules shows off his own tatts

The Convention wasn’t playing home to just tattoo artists, however. The Killing Tree had come from Preston to showcase their work. An independent alternative clothing company, The Killing Tree adopt a predominantly tattoo-based style towards their clothing range. We spoke to Declan, who had come down to the convention to showcase The Killing Tree’s large range of products, perfect for any tattoo addict.

“We use work from independent artists and put them on our products. We’re based in Preston, but we sell all over the world.”

The perfect kind of promotion for England-based artists, this company projects their work in a different kind of way, by enabling their customers to wear the art, rather than just view it on a canvas. By selling their products all across the world, The Killing Tree are pushing independent and local art work out there, whilst simultaneously keeping their company’s home-grown roots.

This convention was also a fantastic opportunity for independent artists to showcase their work to the public. Lea Williams, a woman who is relatively new to the scene, had come to Manchester Central in a bid to promote and sell her art work. Only 18 months ago did she quit her well-paid banking job to pursue her dream of becoming an artist.

Lea Williams
Lea Williams with her work

Lea has produced a range of film and music inspired pieces, all brought to life with a mix of oils, inks, pencils, paints and alcohols. Eye-catching to say the least, Lea expressed the reason behind her style of work, claiming that she wants her pieces to stop passers-by in their tracks. This seemed to work with TV giants, ITV, as a Marmite themed piece of Lea’s was show cased on the reality show, The X Factor for one of the renowned Honey G’s performances.

some of Lea Williams' work
Some of Lea Williams' art

Overall, the day was a monumental success. Bursting with artwork from a range of different cultures, styles and creativity, and we can’t wait for next year’s tattoo convention.

Photo credits: Toby Burton