Inkcarceration Returns to the Grounds of Shawshank Prison

Written by Matt Moser, with Photos by Matt Moser & Bill Garman

The month of July here in Northeast Ohio could mean one thing at the world-famous prison of the Ohio State Reformatory. Ah yes, I mean, INKcarceration. The return of the popular tattoo and music festival entered its second year of infancy mid-July, which boasted over 30 live bands and many tattoo artists from all over the country.

I’ve covered this event last year and years prior under a different name at the prison. So when my good friend and Uncivil Revolt contributor, Bill Garman decided to tagged team the event with me, I felt the weight lift off my shoulders. Because walking around with multiple cameras, lens, a backpack full of accessories, you begin to feel the weekend was merely a boot camp introduction course.

This year by far was the biggest the festival has seen with headliner, Godsmack bringing a sellout crowd Saturday night. The whole festival brought more prominent stage names such as Motionless In White, Skillet, I Prevail, Starset, and Seether. Shinedown and Five Finger Death Punch closed out the remaining two nights with a full stage production. Inkcarceration operates like any other music festival where two stages are played out. A main and a secondary stage with bands alternating throughout sets. One of the great features of Inkcarceration is the integration of a few local performers such as Impending Lies and Titans in Time playing in front of huge crowds. Fan favorites, the Monster Dolls from Cleveland, Ohio made their debut creeping the stages Saturday and Sunday.

This year brought many gains from 2018 with the crowd being the most noticeable. By 7:00 PM each night, the attendance filled the lawn all the way to the prison fence line. With the summer heat reaching in the 90s, especially Saturday, the hydration stations camped a 45 minute wait time where the lines stretched out to the vending area of the park to fill up water bottles. It felt like a Cedar Point weekend where you were trying to avoid stepping on someone else’s heels. It got so bad, one beverage vendor increased their prices due to the demand and lines spilling into the main stage area. *Headache*

Besides that, it was nice to see another successful Inkcarceration this year. The festival brought in a lot of green and business to the community. But to be honest, this is my last year covering this event. Numerous problems arose, making it a challenge on getting coverage for Uncivil. I will leave it at that. Overall, the crowds were great to interact with the whole weekend. No problems to report. Polite and willing to step in for a few photos. All the bands were phenomenal! It was great to get a diverse set of talent throughout the weekend.





Photos by Matt Moser, Moser Photoworks:

Photos by Bill Garman:

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