Bill and Betty Brown, owners of the family-friendly Evolution Ink on Cliffdale Road, debuted their free EvolutionInk Tattoo Convention last year. They said the community response exceeded their wildest expectations. This year, April 12-14, the Browns are bringing the convention back — and going all-out to make it a can’t-miss weekend for tattoo-lovers and their families.
All weekend at this year’s free event, attendees will enjoy special pricing of $20 off all tattoos and $5 off all piercings. Up to 19 tattoo artists, about 17 in-house and two guest artists, will be present. Evolution Ink’s piercers, master piercer Nick Perron and Lyn Blevins, will also be there.
“Most conventions charge $25-$65 for the weekend,” Bill said. “Ours is free. Our motto is, you take that money you’d spend on other conventions and use it on a tattoo or piercing at the EvolutionInk Convention.”
For each day someone attends the convention and gets a tattoo or piercing, they’ll be entered into a drawing to win a grand prize of $2,500 worth of custom Evolution ink or a second-place prize of $500 in body piercing. “Nobody has a prize like that,” Bill said. “I wanted to go really big this year. … And it’s not like the North Carolina lottery where your odds are one in a million to win. You have pretty good chances. Someone is going to walk away with a huge prize.”
Regardless of the drawing, everyone who gets tattoos or piercings will walk out with a free VIP Swag Bag containing $65 worth of items, including a T-shirt, water bottle, car decal, magnet and future discount cards.
Friday afternoon, Jeff Davis from Q98 will DJ a live show on-site. That evening, locally loved and acclaimed band Rivermist will entertain with live music.
Saturday afternoon, local celebrity and Army veteran EJ “Skullcrusher” Snyder will do a meet-and-greet. Snyder is Fayetteville’s own three-time champion of Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid.” All day, the United Service Organization of North Carolina will have a mobile center set up with tablets, big-screen TVs, video gaming consoles, Wi-Fi and casual seating for service members to enjoy.
Babann’s Southern Fried Chicken food truck will be on-site Friday and Saturday afternoons, too.
The Fayetteville Woodpeckers will be present selling Woodpeckers clothes, hats and other paraphernalia. That day has not been confirmed yet, the Browns said, but it will likely be Sunday.
“Kids and babies are welcome; we’re definitely family-friendly,” Bill added, noting that there will be an outdoor face-painting station set up for children.
“It’s going to be the big event in Fayetteville. If we have too many customers on a day and someone can’t stay and get their tattoo or piercing done, we’ll give them a raincheck card. Within three months after that date, they can come back and get that tattoo or piercing and they’ll still get the discount and the Swag Bag.”
A portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the Fort Bragg Fisher House, the Fort Bragg chapter of United Service Organizations of North Carolina, and the Fayetteville Animal Protection Society. Evolution Ink has a heart for giving animals homes and offers a year-round incentive where customers who show their adoption papers for a pet from FAPS, or any local certified shelter, get $50 off their ink.
The EvolutionInk Tattoo Convention 2019 runs Friday, April 12, from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Sunday, April 14, from noon-8 p.m. Evolution Ink is located at 5924 Cliffdale Rd. Visit www.evolutioninkstudio.com or call 910-323-2243 to learn more.