RITES OF PASSAGE TATTOO FESTIVAL – Day 2. Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton, Melbourne. 08-04-2017.

Words Mikaelie A. Evans.
Photos Matt Allan Photos.

Day two of the annual Rites Of Passage Tattoo Festival held at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building welcomed punters of all ages through its large doors into a world filled of art and culture.

Lining the entrance were stalls of assorted goods, varying from alternative jewellery to barber knives, hot chilli sauces to the soft amplifications from Cranbourne Music’s Fender and Gretsch guitars, along with various merchandise stands like Killer March and Crawling Death.

Following the sound of buzzing needles around the first line of stalls lead me to find the first tattoo booth along the wall, which was Paul Rapley’s stand. Rapley was hard at work on a rib piece, and the guy receiving it made the overly asked question of “does that hurt?” sound even more rhetorical. Continue reading

RITES OF PASSAGE TATTOO FESTIVAL – Day 1. Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton, Melbourne. 07-04-2017.

Photos Suzanne Phoenix – Photos Punctuate My Life.

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Rites Of Passage 2016 Tattoo, Music and Art Festival – Day 2. Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne. 23-04-2016.

Words Callum Doig.
Photos Mandy Campbell.

Rites of Passage 2016 © Mandy Campbell.Having some ink myself, tattoo conventions and festivals are something I’ve had on my ‘to check out’ list for years. I headed down Rites of Passage on a cold Saturday morning to see what was in store for everyone there.

The very moment I set foot into the building, it was as though I entered The Louvre equivalent of body art. About 95% of the crowd in attendance had tattoos, whether it be just one on their arm, or covered from head to toe, and a handful of people even with what I assumed to be tattooed eyes. From rows A through to S, there was nothing but countless parlours and organisations that came from all over the world such as Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, the U.S. and more. It was impossible to keep track of every single artist at the Royal Exhibition Building, especially with all of the business cards I took off each stand.

The good thing was, it wasn’t all strictly limited to tattoo companies. In fact, there were plenty of stalls set up that sold t-shirts, jewellery, and even supplies and aftercare. Tattoo removalist establishments such as Light Speed and First Impression Laser Clinic were also set up to promote their businesses. Children brought to the conventions with their parents even had the opportunity to get their own tattoos done. Considering that they weren’t above the legal age to have proper ink of course, they had the option to have airbrush and henna tattoos done on them instead. Continue reading

Rites Of Passage 2016 Tattoo, Music and Art Festival – Day 1. Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne. 22-04-2016.

Photos Carl Neumann.


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RITES OF PASSAGE Tattoo, Music and Art Festival. Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne. Fri 24 to Sun 26-04-2015. Post 2.

Words Anthony Moore.
Photos Matt Allan – Silk Imagery.

It’s amazing how quickly a year can go by! The Rites Of Passage Tattoo, Art and Music Festival is always a highlight on the calendar and gets bigger and better every year. Held at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton, Melbourne, the annual event held over the Anzac long weekend plays host to over 240 of the top tattoo artists from Australia and around the world. 2015 saw more tattoo booths as well as artists, clothing, airbrushing, stores, food and the amazing Sea Shepherd crew.

Fridays are usually a great warm up as so many people are still working and attend on the weekend. It’s a good time to be able to chat to the artists not booked out as many only take walk ups at the event or have Saturdays and Sundays booked. By the time Saturday lunch time came round though it was crazy! The walk ways were like peak hour at Flinders Station, which can make it a little difficult at times to catch a glimpse of some of the main draw cards but to be honest, it also contributes to the excitement and buzz.

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RITES OF PASSAGE Tattoo, Music and Art Festival. Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne. Fri 24 to Sun 26-04-2015.

Words Cassie Walker.
Photos Sally Townsend Photography.

On a typical grey Melbourne weekend, traffic, coffee, rain, we made it to the beautiful and historic Royal Exhibition Building located in the Carlton Gardens, following the groups of black clothed, tattoo curious fans into the hall to escape the cold and the rain and experience the iconic Rites Of Passage Tattoo, Music and Art Festival.

The line to purchase tickets snaked through the foyer before entering into the depths of the beautiful venue which is a piece of art itself. The display of motor bikes and artwork, the smell of dumplings in the air and a soundtrack of hip hop, rock and metal tunes was the perfect snap shot of the diversity of the event.

Neo-traditional was the ‘flavour of the festival’ with stand out artists Crispy Lennox of The Black Mark, Melbourne who was focused on the leg piece he was working on and seemed shy at the audience wanting to see his work, and Mimsy Gleeson and Tilly Dee who front the Trailer Trash Tattoo team from Queensland who win most creative booth with the overdose of pink and plastic flamingos.

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RITES OF PASSAGE Tattoo & Art Festival 2015, Melbourne. Fri 24 – Sun 26 April.

Words Anthony Moore
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia

Rites of Passage 2015 will be our third year of covering the event and it’s always a massive highlight on the calendar. Held annually at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton, Melbourne, it gets bigger and better each year and 2015 is looking to be massive! It’s held this week over the Anzac Day long weekend from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th April. With world renowned feature artists like Shigenori Iwasaki (Yellowblaze), Nikko Hurtado (Black Anchor), Carlos Torres (Sullen Art Collective) and Franco Vescovi (The Vatican), as well as another 240 artists from Australia and around the world listed on the ROP site, the event is definitely always one not to miss! As 22 year US veteran Jime Litwalk said at last years event, “It’s not often you get to walk a floor and see the calibre of artists like this, it’s a great show!”

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