Santiago in Ink: The first Santiago International Tattoo Fest

Whether you're already inked up to the eyeballs or still a blank canvas, the Santiago International Tattoo Fest looks set to be an unmissable event.

Photo courtesy of Santiago International Tattoo Fest
Photo courtesy of Santiago International Tattoo Fest

On the weekend of the15th and 16th of December the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral (GAM) will be transformed into the hub for this event, the first of its kind in Chile and Latin America as a whole. The time-table (availabe at offers an array of special events and activities.

Sixty-seven stands will be set up for the various Chilean, Latin American and International tattoo artists who will not only be exhibiting their work but competing in competitions with categories ranging from Tribal, Full Colour, Oriental and Neo Traditional to a particularly topical theme of 'The End of the World'. This open ended category will no doubt inspire some original designs.

Photo courtesy of Santiago International Tattoo Fest
Photo courtesy of Santiago International Tattoo Fest

Organiser Alejandro Banderas is excited over the outcome, stating that in general the categories tend to stick to the conventional, tried and tested themes of Colour, Black and Grey, Old School etc. The End of the World theme, however, will open up creative opportunities inspired by the ever looming Apocalypse (21st of December, guys! There's another date for the diary right there!).

Not only will there be live tattooing, but international and Chilean Graffiti artists will be showing off their artistic flare, albeit painting on walls instead of skin. There will be live music from the likes of Sin Muerte, Betty Boops, Habitación del Pánico and many more. There'll be a photography exhibition on Tattooing. And if that wasn't enough, there'll also be BMX and Skate championships with some of the best riders and skaters from all corners of Chile coming to bunny-hop, ollie and generally shred!

Alejandro Banderas, who has previously organised smaller festivals in Chile, is keen for the Latino tattoo culture to be properly celebrated. Creating an event with international status is a great way of fusing connections, exhibiting talent and spring-boarding success as well as a chance to relax and enjoy a side of the Santiago lifestyle that many might not know about. Come along this weekend and who knows, you might leave with more than just a memory!*

*It's probably better to think properly about permanently changing your appearance before you actually do it.

The Santiago International Tattoo Festival
Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th December, 11am - 10pm
Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral (GAM)
Avenida Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins 227 (Alameda to most of us)
Metro Universidad Católica

For more information visit the website or the Facebook page.

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