More tattoos and piercings than I’ve ever seen in one place I my life, brightly decorated hair and mind-numbing body suspensions provided just a taste of the eclectic vibe at Kinkfest. Those colorful experiences, coupled with a beautiful backdrop of pristine November weather, set-up the perfect environment for my first visit. There was also a palpable, positive vibe, in an environment where everyone was in their own element being whoever the hell they wanted to be. Oh, and then there was the eleven hours of killer rock ‘n roll – welcome to the 2015 incarnation of The Kink Music Festival.
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Headlined by a scorching closing set from Rise Against, a raucous performance from crowd favorites Killswitch Engage and and a slew of talented local bands, the gritty music was definitely the highlight of this interesting day at the Central Florida Fairgrounds, as thousands of tattooed and pierced fans witnessed more than a dozen talented acts.
The promoters of the event put together a dynamic slate of hard rock featuring national acts on the Main Stage and Florida musicians on their cozy, lakeside “locals only” stage. The Main Stage action got off to a scorching start when Orlando rockers Soul Switch moved up to the big stage and delivered a dynamic thirty minutes. Hollywood Undead and Within Reason dominated the day with powerful sets, before Rise Against brought the crowd to a fever pitch with a dominating hit-filled closing.
The local stage boasted a diverse selection of bands from across Central Florida. Highlights from that stage were Felicity, Southern Fried Genocide and Central Florida’s girl-fronted Kill The Sound who delivered one of the most entertaining and engaging sets of the day with lead singer Kim Acoustic racing through the crowd. It started a trend that continued with the absolutely frenetic performance of Letlive frontman Jason Butler who did a flip into the crowd and then sang from his back as the faithful held him aloft. Later in the evening Atreyu’s Alex Varkatzas, and Tim McIlrath of Rise Against climbed over the barrier to get a little closer to their fans, as well.
Aside from technical issues before Hollywood Undead’s set, which was ultimately cut short, the logistics between the two stages worked well. We’ll have a band-by-band recap coming later this week, so make sure you follow us for deeper views into all of the music.
But, this event is about so much more than music. The tattoo exposition was equally compelling. Imagine a warehouse space filled with 40+ of the area’s most talented tattoo artists, hundreds of eager body canvases waiting to be inked. And, all of that mayhem was set-up on the periphery of the most unique festival experience I’ve ever encountered – Several suspension performers from Metamorphosis twisted above the crowd tethered to a cable solely by intricate (and sometime bloody) body piercings – it was borderline disturbing yet absolutely compelling, to the point where I involuntarily watched transfixed for long stretches of time.
There was also an intriguing and competitive contest for best tattoo of the day, and the intense competition featured at least a dozen amazing creations inked during the festival. The winning entry from Elysium Tattoo (Ft. Myers) was literally worked on for the entire day. Check out our Facebook photo gallery to see the amazing final product. RARAsFarm Facebook Photos
The Central Florida Fairgrounds was a prime setting for this intriguing event. I loved the dichotomy of the chaos of this festival juxtaposed with the placid lake lapping the shore just off-site. The volunteers, security and cleaning crew all did a wonderful job throughout the day, as well. Good stuff!
The only disappointment with the set-up and logistics were the insanely long food lines. Kinkfest 3 needs more food vendors or at least servers who can move with a bit more energy. Other than that, the organizers have a nice blueprint for future successes.
Make sure you check back this week for additional coverage, and check out and Like our Facebook Page as we have a slew of photos on the way, including some killer band photos: RARAsFarm Facebook
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