By Leo Byrne, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Following hot on the heels of the New Year’s celebrations, Tattoo Week Rio starts on Friday, January 4th and will bring together some of the world’s finest body artists for a festival celebrating all things ink and body art related. The event, which will also include live music shows, will take place over three days at Pier Mauá on Avenida Rodrigues Alves in Centro.

Rio Tattoo Week coming to Rio de Janeiro on January 4-6th, 2013, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Tattoo Week Rio coming to Rio de Janeiro on January 4-6th, 2013, photo by Rio Tattoo Week.

Anyone who has visited Rio knows tattoos and body art are a common sight among locals and visitors. Beach culture, fashion and shifting perspectives have helped fuel a dramatic rise in the number of people getting tattoos or piercings.

“There used to be a prejudice against tattoos here in [in Brazil], but as time went on it faded. Now many more people are getting tattoos.” Daniel Laruso who owns the Arte Copa Tattoo studio told The Rio Times.

“It’s really recommended for anyone to go to these events. Tattoo artists and people in the industry go there for the techniques, but it’s a great event people outside the industry as they can see the art. They can see the more human side of things,” Mr. Laruso explained.

The festival will consist of over 170 stands where artists and piercers from around the world will exhibit their work. Also on offer are lectures on safety and numerous other topics pertaining to body art. Those in the industry looking to pick up a few tips will be able to attend various workshops hosted by renowned artists like Steve Sotto and Carlos Torres.

The expanding tattoo and body art market has made Brazil a hotspot for such festivals, with Rio’s Tattoo Week in January foremost among them. The event expects to attract over a thousand visitors and isn’t necessarily aimed at just those involved in the business.

In Rio tattoos are common because they are more exposed, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
In Rio tattoos are common because they are more exposed, photo provided by Gabbie M. Lapper.

Rio’s particular emphasis on spending time on the beach has given rise to its own tattoo and body art trends. “In Rio the tattoos are more exposed, because of the beach culture we live in,” Tattoo enthusiast Gabbie M. Lapper explains.

“People get to show more skin, so they choose certain parts of the body to get inked. You also can notice a lot of girls with full or half-sleeves tattoos. Girls are really getting more into ink nowadays,” she told The Rio Times.

Each day of the festival will also lead into live music events of differing genres. Starting at 4PM and running until 10PM, Friday, Saturday and Sunday will host hip hop, electronic and Brazilian music-themed nights respectively. Visitors on the Friday night can expect live DJs, MCs and rap battles with both local and U.S. artists.

The follow up electronic night on Saturday consists of a six DJ line-up combining local DJs with overseas talent from the UK, Germany and France, while on Sunday visitors can enjoy performances from samba and capoeira schools.

Rio Tattoo Week tickets are available from the larger shopping centers around Rio and cost R$15. However visitors should be aware that this ticket covers only one day of the event and doesn’t grant admission to the music shows on Friday and Saturday for which a separate ticket priced at of R$50 is required. The Sunday music show does not require an additional ticket.

The Pier Mauá is located near the Porto do Rio de Janeiro and is a short walk north of Uraguaiana metro station. Alternatively it is possible take buses 442, 443 or 128 from Copacabana to the Avenida Rodrigues Alves stop, which lies immediately behind the pier.


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