Saturday November 12th brought the third annual Kink Music Festival to Orlando. With two stages for bands, a tattoo convention, and classic car show, Kink Festival was a full day event with something for everyone with the headline bands for this year’s festival including Sleepwave, Sick Puppies, In Flames, Hellyeah, and Evanescence.
In Flames hit the stage as the sun went down, and they were clearly anticipated by the crowd. The Swedish heavy metal band had not played the states in over a year and a half, and Florida much longer than that. Having their first show back in the US was a treat for the fans as the band absolutely killed this show. Hellyeah brought the energy to the show. These guys never stop moving, never stop interacting, and never stop banging it out, chord after chord. They can pound out the hardest metal songs and then bring the house down with the greatest ballads. Evanescence closed out the night with an absolutely incredible performance. Between the faster paced heavy songs, the stage crew would bring out a full sized piano which Amy Lee used to serenade the enormous crowd that was now in front of her. Paul McCoy of 12 Stones surprised the crowd and joined Amy on their hit song “Bring Me to Life” which was definitely the highlight of the set.
The local stage of the festival was once again used to showcase up and coming bands from the Orlando area. These bands included Auditory Armory, YugoSKAvia, Breathing Theory, American Party Machine, F.I.L.T.H (returning from last year!), and Meka Nism. Next to the local stage was the classic car show that had about 15 cars that were adorned out with skulls, flames, and intrinsic detailing.
The tattoo convention homed around 60 artists, and returning from last year in the center of the convention was the Metamorphosis Suspension Group. These artists tattooed the entire day while patrons continued to sign up and wait their turns to get inked. While rope suspensions were represented, the hook suspensions had the crowd on their toes. The onlookers seemed both intrigued and horrified while people hung from hooks pierced through their skin. The entire group deserves much respect for not only putting on a great show, but also taking great care of their people.
Though the music is what brings fans to the festival, it’s the fans that make the festival. The people waiting in line to get autographs, the people in the mosh pits, the vendors, the other media photographers and interviewers, and even the staff behind the scenes everyone makes every festival an amazing experience.