The 8th annual Ink-n-Iron festival went down this weekend from Friday, June 10th-12th. This is no county fair, it boasted 35+ live bands, tatto artists from all around the world, Pin-up pagents, pole dancers, burlesque shows, classic hot rods and rat rods, tattoo contests, and tons of other fun activities all being hosted at the Queen Marry. The vendors included just about everything a grease-monkey might want, from custom clothing to hair cuts.
There were three stages that saw no rest during the three-day event. The main stage sat in front of the Queen Marry, the "drive-in" stage sat deep in the area where the car show was being held, and the sin alley stage was in the ship on the fourth floor. The first three floors of the Queen held an assortment of internationally renown tattoo artists; the buzzing of the tattoo guns was the music inside the ships hull.
A great thing about the festival was that the whole ship was open to those who attended the festival. I walked around the whole festival but spent a lot of the time just hanging out on the deck of the ship watching everything going on below and enjoying the view of the Long Beach skyline.
"This is the only time of the year when I dont feel like people are always watching me or string at me. The way I see it, more of these types of events should go on in Long Beach, just look at how many people are here!" said Robert Rodriguez, he later told me that he only planned on attending Friday, but had so much fun that he just had to come back for Saturday and Sunday, this cost him $120 on the entrance alone. If he had planned on going all three days from the beginning, they offer a three day pass which is really a "buy two days, get the third free" deal.
The crowd of people was unreal when international bands like Batmobile, Creepshow, and The Buzzcocks played. The mosh-pits are always a place where there is a risk of getting hurt, but it all comes with listening to high energy music that gets the crowd pumped. Fortunately, there were no fights or major altercations, which surprised me because rival car clubs, greaser crews, and even gangs were rubbing elbows throughout the festival. As Sunday was wrapping up, the Buzzcocks rocked the set as loud as they could and there was a feeling of saying bye to a distant cousin at a huge family reunion.
Have you ever attended the Ink-n-Iron festival? Did you know it was held at the Queen Mary? Is there any other festivals that you know about in Long Beach?
562CityLife is in part funded by a Long Beach Community Foundation Connected Corridor grant supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Transformation Initiative.