Words and Photos by: Alleen Hughes
OC Fair and Event Center - Costa Mesa, CA
March 8-10, 2019
For over a decade now, Travis Barker has been combining some of his favorites in life into one large festival that seems to get bigger and better every year. Continuing onto it’s 12th year this past weekend, MUSINK Music Festival and Tattoo Convention set up shop at their usual location at the OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa, CA for three days filled with music, cars and hundreds of tattoo artists showing off their skills.
Beginning Friday afternoon, music was the initial kick off to the weekend with scheduled bands Sick Of It All, Bleeding Through, All Hail The Yeti, Hatebreed and a headlining performance by Suicidal Tendencies. Although the crowd seemed pretty full on Friday, it was Saturday and Sunday that held the larger attendance. With doors opening at noon, everyone showed up as early as they could on these two days to see which of their favorite tattoo artists they could get a rememberable tattoo from. Including shops from all over the US and locally, three large indoor spaces were designated for the artists to set up and decorate as they please.
Between two of the tattoo halls, classic cars were showcased in their usual spot under a protective ceiling but still illuminated by the natural light coming in from the outside that way nobody could miss all the details each ride entailed. A mash up of different makes and models, each car was the perfect eye candy for attendees moving from hall to hall scoping out the tattoo artists and vendors.
Saturday’s music lineup was dedicated to hip hop and nu metal. Rap group City Morgue literally opened the floor up in the crowd thanks to member ZillaKami by running off the stage in his socks to join in on the mosh pit that developed in response to their hip hop, trap metal sound. In between sets, the music kept a constant flow with festival founder Travis Barker under the spotlight with his turntables and headphones.
Before Ho99o9 took over, artist Bernadette Macias graced the stage in a satin burgundy/plum colored dress to present the contestants of Miss MUSINK. All of the women had amazing tattoos and body modifications but there could only be one winner, and after a quick twirl from each contestant, Macias announced Samantha Schwacher as Miss MUSINK 2019.
The echoing hangar was filled wall to wall by 8:30 as a much anticipated performance from Limp Bizkit was set to begin just before 9:00. Limp Bizkit may have shocked everyone when they returned in 2018 but this year they have already managed to one up themselves. Earlier in the week LB played a special $3 intimate show at The Troubadour in Hollywood with their original 90’s lineup. One reunion that really shocked everyone and made those who missed out quickly buy their tickets to MUSINK to witness nostalgia in the flesh. Between a Nirvana cover and Wes Borland crowd surfing and playing on the top of fan’s heads, Limp Bizkit jumped us all back to our teen years with a remarkable and wild set filled with all of the classics.
Sunday proved punk is not dead both with attendees and bands on the stage. Including punk natives Dead Kennedys, Voodoo Glow Skulls, T.S.O.L., Anti-Flag and Fear, the festival said goodnight and farewell via the sounds of The Vandals. Performing in their own hometown county, The Vandals thanked everyone for sticking around and kept big smiles on their faces as played to their fans of all ages.
Every year Travis Barker gives evidence as to why he is one of the greatest in this industry. From being hands on with his own festival, ensuring a good lineup and bringing together tattoo artists from all around, Barker and MUSINK is always one of those festivals Southern California looks forward to every year.