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I have nine tattoos, and this weekend I will get one more—my first in Panamá!

The 9th Panama City Ink Fest is set to kick-start this Thursday, Aug. 10 with a welcome party at Casco Viejo’s live music hot spot, Piña Calavera.

The actual festival, set to stretch over the following three days – Friday, Aug. 11 through Sunday, Aug. 13—will happen at Hotel RIU Plaza, which just hosted the annual Bud Fest last week, as well. Having gone to that, I can assure you that this venue is one you’ll enjoy. The hotel is snazzy with a sushi bar in the lobby that makes an incredible mint martini, should you arrive thirsty.

One thing I quickly noticed living in El Cangrejo is the impressive number of tattoo shops on Via Argentina, a must-go street of restaurants galore. They’re not just here, though. I see them everywhere I go in Panama City. As a fan of self-expression through various art forms, I love that. And so the little seed planted into my head that I may get another tattoo here and soon.

Working at a publishing house that keeps tabs on all things Panamá, I discovered the upcoming Ink Fest and knew I’d just have to attend. Having not gotten a new tattoo since 2013 in Los Angeles, I am due for something new.

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At first, I was hesitant to get my tenth addition at this ninth annual festival, because that just seems off. But then, I decided to look at it as “one step ahead” and “always moving forward” and so I’ve convinced myself to go ahead and give it a go – enter the world of double-digit tattoos because why not! What better excuse than an actual convention dedicated to the art form itself?

The mission of the festival is to provide the best convention for both local and visiting artists, as well as locals and tourists who admire the art of tattooing. The Panama City Ink Fest will feature seminars, entertainment, international artists from more than 15 countries, tattoo competitions, and much more.

The main objective is to shine a positive light on urban art as it is symbolic to Central America and the rest of the world. Along with that, the fest aims to encourage individual and collective growth for all artists – both experts and beginners alike—through coexistence, creating long-lasting professional connections and friendships for all who attend.

Whether you’re a tattoo enthusiast or aficionado, a budding artist or an expert at the craft, I hope to see you this weekend at the 9th Panama City Ink Fest!

More info about times and tickets can be found here.

This was a guest post by Brittney Schering (@existential_bls), an international writer fluent in wanderlust and wild abandon that made the recent move to Panama. Have an article, idea, opinion, tips, or just about anything else Panama related you would like to write about on PTY Life? Become a guest blogger like Brittney by sending a message to

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Brittney is a global writer and editor fluent in wanderlust with work published in Forbes Travel Guide, Time Out, Culture Trip, International Living, and more. Hailing from Detroit, MI, she first moved to NYC, then LA, and from there, NOLA, before venturing overseas to Panama. Follow Brittney on Instagram at @existential_bls.

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