Review By: Rachael Yearsley (Rsg Roxy)
The incredible Inkcarceration Festival of 2018 was a 3 day event that will hold strong memories in the hearts to all that attended. Taking place on the weekend of July 13th through the 15th, this unforgettable festival featured over 30 bands, 70+ tattoo artists, a campground and many food and drink vendors. I would hate to leave out that this legendary event took place at the historic Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield Ohio. (The home of the Shawshank Prison) Now if I shared with you all the enjoyment I got from each band that played their amazing sets and all the extra features involved in this event, you would be reading a very lengthy chapter book. So take an adventure with me (not a stroll) as I share with you some key highlights of this ultimately remarkable weekend.
I arrived on Friday the 13th as Of Mice & Men were performing on the main stage. I started taking mental notes of all the additional activities going on in my surroundings, and how I was to manage my time so that I may enjoy all of these bonus features provided for our entertainment. I was immediately drawn to the gigantic prison towering over me. I was enticed by its paranormal essence and the fact that I knew inside this extravagant infrastructure was where the many tattoo artist had set up shop for the weekend. I excitedly made my way through the prison tour observing all the material pertaining to the movie, The Shawshank Redemption. My journey ended where all the tattoo artist not only displayed their fine works of art, but performed their work as well for all to see. It was a lot to take in visually. I knew I could have stayed in that area the rest of the night but had to make haste back to the performing artists staged outside.
Coming straight out of the penitentiary, I followed my heart straight to the music. A Day To Remember was performing on the main stage while their fans crowd surfed their way to the pit, and giant beach balls bounced over everyone’s heads. I have to take a moment to tip my hat to all those involved in the Inkcarceration Festival. Security and staff were well trained and the set up of everything was nothing short of perfect. The trusses surrounding the stage were tremendous and displayed the best lighting for the bands. The sound guys and their equipment were on point adding that extra amount of bass prime for this outdoor event. So when the sun set and Rise Against came on stage, the entire crowd was enthralled and living in that very moment. Singer Tim Mcllrath proceeded his way to the gate at the pit, and serenaded his fans while helping crowd surfers safely to the ground.
I started my Saturday off with a cold and quenching drink from the Rockstar tent that was made of giant inflatable energy drink cans and which provided an endless supply of free rockstar energy drinks to aid in the well being of all the people enduring the treacherous heat. I then dwelled into a game of cornhole with the fella that accompanied me for the weekend and some newly acquired friends who came in from Michigan to enjoy the festival. And after peering around at all the vendors and merchant tents set up, I found myself at the Hell In A Cell tent, where they lividly promoted the Mansfield prison’s Halloween attraction. Let me tell you all, playing volleyball with a severed head against the living dead is no easy task. While rocking out the entire day to all the impressive bands, I awaited for the sun to go down and the lights to kick into full display as Bush rocked the stage full heartedly.
While Sunday was indubitably the hottest day, it was also the heaviest day for rocking out. Mosh pits, circle pits, and headbanging were without doubt happening throughout the day, despite the cruel temperatures. After watching a stunning performance by Sevendust, I was able to appreciate a colossal circle pit antagonized by Hatebreed, and a marriage proposal during Adelitas Way. And as perfect timing would have it, so did singer Rick DeJesus, as he incorporated this momentous occasion beautifully into his set. I trekked to the second stage to watch Soil where singer Ryan McCombs got deep into the crowd to sing “Halo” with his vintage mic held high in the air for all the fans to be a part of the experience. As Clutch ended their shockingly awesome set, they brought out special guest, Pepper Keenan from Corrosion Of Conformity to play Spacegrass together. And low and behold, with what seemed like a lifetime of waiting for the stage crew to finish setting up, Black Label Society took the stage and our heavy metal hearts as well. Zakk Wylde rolled out his baby grand piano for a slightly altered version of “In This River” and made use of a megaphone while performing “Suicide Messiah.”
The night ended amazingly well and on my long hike back to the car, I thought to myself, “I cannot wait for the next Inkcarceration Festival!!!” I thoroughly enjoyed myself and all that the weekend had to offer. It was definitely a memory that will live in my heart forever.