Mansfield fame Ohio State Reformatorywhich first housed inmates in 1896, is hosting tens of thousands of ‘INKmates’ this weekend, as annual meeting pass holders INKcarceration Music and Tattoo Festival are affectionately known.
This year’s three-day heavy metal and tattoo festival, held on the prison grounds where the Hollywood classic “Shawshank Redemption” was filmed, sold out weeks in advance, with 75,000 tickets purchased and 25,000 people expected each day, Friday through Sunday.
More than 50 groups and artists were to perform on several stages at the OSR. Inside the historic prison, 30 of the nation’s top tattoo artists performed their ink art.
“We are comprehensive and thrilled to bring this phenomenal event, INKcarceration, for the fourth year to the City of Mansfield,” said Susan Fisher, Assistant General Manager of Festival Affairs.
Korn, Papa Roach, Daughtry among Friday performers
The festival first took place in 2018, but was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic before resuming in 2021.
Shawn Hall of Grove City was attending INKcarceration for the third time. He said he was excited for Friday’s title.
“I can’t wait to be in the mosh pit for Korn“Hall said.
Festival-goers drive a visual narrative, Hall said.
“Three days of people watching,” he said.
Finding a place to sleep between visits to the reformatory is a bonus.
“We had people who stayed in Akron last year,” said Lee Tassef, President of Destination Mansfield. “They were from Buffalo.”
“National Recognition” for Mansfield
The festival quickly became a cultural boon for the region.
“It’s national recognition for the community,” Tasseff said. “It’s here because of the reformatory; if you don’t have the reformatory, it’s not here.
The INKmates cover the prison grounds from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., but there are quiet moving parts that make the event possible.
“We are grateful to the Reformatory, the INKcarceration team and Danny Wimmer Presents,” said Tasseff. “They all came together to make this happen.”
Popular heavy metal bands attract fans.
“This should be ranked in the top 10 rock concerts nationally,” Tasseff said. “It helps get recognition for Mansfield and Richland County.”
More information is available online at inkcarceration.com.