July 2021 could see the 6th Cantal Ink

Friday, 28 June 2019

What have you got planned on Saturday, July 3rd and Sunday, July 4th, 2021? These dates should see the big comeback of the Chaudes-Aigues Tattoo Festival!

After a 3-year absence, Cantal Ink is back

It will have been three long years since the 5th, last edition of Cantal Ink – an open-air tattoo convention capturing the spirit of a big family festival – and the long-awaited 6th chapter of our history. There are a number of reasons behind this 3-year gap: a disastrous lack of subsidy, the high cost of putting on an event such as ours, and also the reticence of some locals.

Cantal Ink is a challenging event to put on, but we have never given up or thought of organising it elsewhere, despite the offers. We preferred to be patient; we did not want to give up, we firmly believe that the event benefits both the tattoo world and the small village that hosts it. And by 2021, this philosophy should hopefully pay off.


Thermoludism: an important contributor to the Chaudes-Aigues Tattoo Festival

While 2018 was the first summer without Cantal Ink since the event was created in 2013, it was also the beginning of a crisis in the Chaudes-Aigues village. This crisis – that of an entire village hit by the closure of the essential thermoludic part of the Caleden thermal complex, one of our historical partners – is explained in detail on our website.

For the Cantal Ink team, it is unthinkable to organise a future event without Caleden being able to make the most of its facilities. Why? Because Chaudes-Aigues is first and foremost about the warm, blue gold and bubbling waters that we showcase at each festival. The management is set on reopening this key part from 2020. We are hopeful that the centre will be fully reopened by the summer of 2021.


Why 2021 for Cantal Ink's return?

If Caleden's management is optimistic and everything else has been given the green light, why wait until 2021 to revive Cantal Ink? The first reason is that the planning for an event such as ours takes time; on average, it takes us more than a year to finalise the entire event, between the tattooers' set, the musicians, the performances, the logistics, etc. The second reason is intrinsic to the political calendar: the return of the Tattoo Festival is highly dependent on the outcome of the 2020 municipal elections.

After several disagreements and diverging views between the current Chaudes-Aigues mayor and the Festival team – a situation lamented by Cantal Ink's founder, Stéphane Chaudesaigues, on his blog – we hope that a newly elected representative will be more receptive and committed to our event. It therefore appears that the convention's return also depends on the ballot boxes...


Cantal Ink’s inclusion in a spring and summer Tattoo Tour

Allowing ourselves to dream of Cantal Ink’s return by 2021, is aided by the support of the couples Gomette & Mélanie and Kalil Moktar & Nath, the respective organisers of the Bourges Tattoo Convention and the Corsair Tattoo Ink. During the 2019 edition of the former, Cantal Ink’s ringmaster Pascal Tourain announced over microphone his suggestion for the creation of a new triptych in the French tattoo calendar:
  • Bourges at the end of June
  • Chaudes-Aigues on the first weekend of July
  • Saint-Malo on the second weekend of July


Why such a tight schedule? To make it easier for international artists coming from far away, who prefer to travel for three events rather than just one, and to offer tattoo lovers a three-step transition between spring and summer. A "Tattoo Tour" between the mountains and the sea, an idea that is gradually gaining ground in the minds of those involved...


A strong support network for the Chaudes-Aigues Tattoo Festival

Cantal Ink is happy and proud to be able to count on a solid network of French and international support alongside Gomette, Kalil Moktar and Pascal Tourain. For example, Cantal-born Thomas Carli Jarlier, a Festival faithful who is particularly involved with Eastern European and Russian tattoo artists, Säde Sonck, Laura Juan and Matteo Pasqualin.

We should also mention those on the other side of the Atlantic, who have never let us down, and who have always expressed their fondness for our small French village: Hannah Aitchison, Jeff Gogue, Joshua Carlton, Nikko Hurtado, Shane O'Neill, Carlos Rojas, Jamie Carreno, Pete Carreno, Bob Tyrrell, Carlos Torres, Lefty Colbert


Overwhelming social network support for another Cantal Ink

After Cantal Ink temporarily bowed out in July 2017, so many of you expressed your desire to see it return. Kind words were heard on street corners, at conventions and on social networks.


Your encouragement has made us want to come back to the Aubrac region more than ever, a region you might even have discovered thanks to us. So, are you Cantal Ink addicts ready to end your detox?

Exclusive: what might the Cantal Ink 2021 poster look like?

American tattoo artist, Beaux-Arts graduate and beloved friend of the Tattoo Festival Dave Koenig, has once again been chosen by our team to design the poster for the next Cantal Ink. Please enjoy an exclusive look at this etching, which features the mythical Par spring, the volutes of bubbling waters, the luxurious lettering of our village, and a mysterious creature from the Dionysian procession.


Relive the best of the last Cantal Ink via video

While waiting for our team's press conference on the subject in mid-September 2019, we encourage you to revisit the last edition of the Tattoo Festival.

Photographs: Jérôme Mauraisin





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