Fifth-Annual Texas Showdown Festival to be in El Paso

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Photo courtesy of the Texas Showdown Festival Facebook page

The 2015 Texas Showdown Festival will take place July 17, 18 and 19 at the El Paso County Coliseum.

Julia Hettiger, Staff Reporter

The Texas Showdown Festival, an annual tattoo and music festival, will take place this year from noon to midnight July 17, 18 and 19 at the El Paso County Coliseum.

The festival will feature professional tattoo artists as well as more than 20 famous bands and musicians such as The Offspring, which is known for their songs “You’re Gonna Go Far,” “Kid and The Kids Aren’t Alright,”  as well as Limp Bizkit and Buckcherry. The concerts will begin at 3 p.m. each day.

The Texas Showdown Festival is one of the largest tattoo and music festivals in the world and has been held since 2010.

“I think it’s really cool that El Paso is able to host unique events like this one,” said Ruben Paredes, junior accounting major. “I always try to attend shows like these.”

The festival will feature more than 300 tattoo artists. Some of the artists include Stefano Alcantara, a tattoo artist from Peru, Sarah Miller, tattooist and manager at Wyld Chyld Tattoo in Pittsburgh, and Joshua Carlton, a tattoo artist and painter from Indiana.

Tattoo artists and celebrities from television shows such as “Tattoo Titans,” “Best Ink” and “Tattoo Nightmares,” as well as representatives and stars from television networks including Spike, TLC and Oxygen.

Dinorah Vazquez, senior psychology major, said she has not been to the festival before, but would like to go.

“I probably will attend the Texas Showdown Tattoo Festival, mostly because I have a fascination with tattoos themselves and have been considering getting one,” Vazquez said. “This festival will bring many great tattoo artists so I can see which style, design and technique to better ease my decision of getting a tattoo that I would like.”

Jasmine Rodriguez, known internationally as a talented female tattoo artist and star of “Tattoo Nightmares,” will be performing live tattooing all three days.

Robert LaSardo, actor and tattoo artist who has starred in “CSI: Miami,” “Nip/Tuck” and the movie “The Human Centipede,” will be available for a meet and greet.

Some of the other tattoo artists include Roman Abrego, an internationally recognized tattoo artist who has been tattooing for 12 years, and Rodney Eckenberger, a tattoo artist and the owner of the nationally recognized tattoo shop, Wicked Ways Tattoo, in Lakeville, Ind.. Patrons will be able to receive tattoos from these artists and have the opportunity to meet and talk with them to discuss the art of tattooing.

Local tattoo artists and piercers will also be performing live tattooing at the festival.

“I personally like tattoos and body piercings are a taste to acquire,” Vazquez said. “Tattoos are a great way to express ones self.”

All of the tattoo artists will be required to get a temporary health permit from the El Paso Health Department and must have a valid license before giving tattoos to patrons.

There will be live music, shows, art giveaways and other activities including human suspension shows, food trucks and a full outdoor bar.

Each year, the festival features shows demonstrating human suspension, which is a form of body modification, where humans are suspended in the air by hooks that are hooked to different parts of the body. Typically the hooks are inserted in areas such as the shoulders, arms and legs. The art involves knowing acute geometry,  anatomy and physiology.

There will also be piercers available to do piercings and sideshows featuring BMX stunt shows and carnival rides that focus on taking their riders out of their normal element.

Steam Punx, a group of sideshow performers known for their shows based on illusions, will be performing daily at the County Coliseum’s center stage.

There will be food from more than 100 vendors, including Twin Peaks, El Jefe (Mexican food) Red, White and Chew, Off the Grill and La Shakalosa.

The vendors have the opportunity to compete in a food truck showdown, with the winner receiving the opportunity to compete next year. The champion is based on votes cast by patrons.

“I think it is a great idea to have events like this take place in El Paso, mostly because it helps El Paso attract a new age crowd,” Vazquez said. “With the growing tattoo fad, that over the past years, tattoos have become less taboo, and recent additions of tattoo shops have been added to El Paso, and I think it helps El Paso Tattoo artists get a feel of what techniques, instruments, designs and styles are out there on the market so that they can find their own unique style of tattooing.”

The entertainment lineup includes the famous rapper Ice Cube, known for his song “No Vaseline,” and the “21 Jump Street” franchise, The Offspring, Limp Bizkit, Yelawulf, Pepper-iration and Pop Evil. Ice Cube will be headlining on July 17, Limp Bizkit will be performing July 18 along with Buckcherry and Hollywood Undead, and The Offspring, with DJ Starscream, will be on stage on July 19.

The Texas Showdown Festival is open to all ages. For more information, call 231-6739.

Julia Hettiger may be reached at [email protected]