Fans of the annual Ink-N-Iron Kustom Kulture Festival, held at the Queen Mary every summer since 2003, will have one last chance to attend next week before organizers set up a permanent camp for the musical event in Nashville, Tennessee.
According to Mike Seidl, one of the event’s organizers, what once was a novel thing, to have musical acts and classic cars accompany tattoo conventions, has now become commonplace.
“You can go get your music fill from 300 venues in Southern California seven days a week,” Seidl said. He also blamed the monopolization of music on AEG and Live Nation. “The last thing we want to do is produce something that is tired, or feels tired, and if it feels tired to us, we certainly don’t want our clientele to feel that way.”
While Seidl said it was a privilege to produce a festival that has been a part of people’s memories, it’s time to bring forth a new experience—Art Gathering L.A.
The art-centered program will make its first appearance at the festival and is then expected to take over in the following years, still in the second week of June and over a minimum of three days.
AGLA will be centered around the very popular tattoo convention—which has always been sold-out and holds a contract with the Queen Mary until “well into the future”—but will feature contemporary painters and street artists as well.
Organizers hope to bring in artists, collectors and gallerists and promote the viewing and selling of artwork via gallery areas on and off the ship.
Seidl said the new festival will display classic and custom cars and a motorcycle component. However, instead of having hundreds of “daily drivers,” they will select up to 25 premium automotive pieces of art.
“I want to produce a car show where it’s cars finished to the level of art," he said. "Same with motorcycles.”
The new festival will also allow organizers to seek out new musical talent of different genres to help foster the next act, instead of presenting bands who have “been there and done that.”
“It’s just all about something new in a direction that will allow us unlimited creativity,” Seidl said.
The Ink-N-Iron Festival, which has run for 13 years, is expected to be expanded into a 10-day event throughout many locations within Nashville, Seidl said.
He said they do not expect to spread the event to other cities.
When organizers broke the news of the festival’s departure on its Facebook page, fans expressed disappointment and gratitude for the experience.
“This is really a big disappointment,’’ one commenter noted. “We always looked forward to the atmosphere of the tattoo-custom car culture- and genre of music typically played. As well as the huge rockabilly scene [it] has generated over the years.”
This year’s last lineup includes performances from Pennywise, Killswitch Engage, the Nekromantix, Gary Numan and Peter Murphy.
The festival will begin Friday, June 12, and continue through Sunday, June 14. The festival in Nashville is scheduled for August 6 to 9. Visit the website for more information.