By Christine Leonard
CALGARY – A perfect excuse to declare a long-weekend without any pesky government oversight, the annual Okanagan Tattoo Show and Brewfest will stake its claim as roadtrip destination of the summer come July 20-22. What started out as a modest showcase of tattoo talent has experienced a positively Bacchanalian evolution and blossomed into gnarly hybrid of art, drink and dance.
According to the Fest’s Entertainment and Production Director, Terence Smith, this year is going to be the most elaborate and ambitious instalment in the event’s history. Over 140 tattoo artists will converge on the Kelowna Curling Club to demonstrate their skills and bond over some tunes and ale at this tattoo expo meets craft brew convention meets rock festival.
“It’s pretty amazing how we’ve been able to expand and grow over the years,” says Smith. “This is our sixth year, but we hadn’t really taken on the music aspect until last year, and this year we’re full on.”
Spread over the course of three nights, the musical attractions have been arranged according to genre with an impressive line-up of likeminded bands planned for Friday through Sunday at the unique outdoor Brewfest venue. Friday night will kick things off with a punk themed roster featuring the likes of Vancouver’s Daggermouth and headliners Teenage Bottle Rocket. Then Saturday settles in with daytime set featuring Calgary’s own Buffalo Bud Buster and HighKicks, followed by an evening of desert rock with Black Mastiff of Edmonton setting up Portland’s heavy hitters Red Fang. Those still vertical by Sunday can roll right into rock-mode as The Dudes introduce their Calgarian hangover cure followed by evening performances by, Ontario’s answer to Nashville Pussy, White Cowbell Oklahoma and Kelowna locals The Wild!
“Three full days, just Friday evening and then all-day Saturday and Sunday. It’s 20 bands, which is like five mini-concerts each with their own headliner.”
According to Smith, putting an emphasis on Kelowna’s local musical talent is a priority that has continued to make a positive impact on the community.
“I actually found that really important, to represent Canadian talent because sometimes they tend to get overlooked by bigger festivals. And going forward I’m going to be very conscious of that, like having The Wild! of Kelowna close the festival on Sunday night. We feel like we’re bringing local festivals back for people in the area.”
True to its name, the Brewfest portion will showcase frothy selections from thirteen breweries including co-presenters Lighthouse Brewing and Okanagan Spirits, not to mention Penticton’s notorious Bad Tattoo Brewing.
“I’m a real craft beer advocate and we added it last year and it was a real success. And we thought what goes better with enjoying an amazing beer outdoors than listening to some awesome bands?”
The Okanagan Tattoo Show and Brewfest runs July 20-22 at the Kelowna Curling Club (Kelowna, BC)
For more information and tickets visit: www.okanagantattooshow.com
Kelowna Curling Club, Okanagan Tattoo Show and Brewfest