Haggard Doesn't Take The Stage; Tattoos, Hot Rods Take Over At Ink N Iron Festival

Posted at 5:00 PM, Aug 08, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For Aaron Harville, it's hard to remember how many he has on his body.

“I have one, two, three, four, five,” he said counting.

But the sensation of getting a new tattoo, which he did while speaking with NewsChannel 5 Friday, has burned fresh.

“I haven't had one for two years so I'm kind of remembering it now,” he said, laughing.

He was one of many who sought out specific artists when news spread about the Ink N Iron Festival, coming to Nashville for the first time.

“I've actually gotten tattooed by Danny (Derrick) before, and I heard he was coming into town so I thought it was a good opportunity,” said Jenay Gardner. She was getting a tattoo on her arm of her dog who passed away.

The tattoo hall showcased dozens of artists from around the world inside the Municipal Auditorium. That’s the ink portion of the festival.

Outside it's all about the iron. A hot rod motorcycle and car show lined Bicentennial Mall.

“This is the Bruce Young Special,” said Kevin Gill, showing off his car, “it’s my 1934 roadster.”

Dozens of owners showed off their goods and answered questions from interested festival-goers.

“It’s like a vintagy feel you know?” said BJ Hightower about the festival as he walked around, “the whole thing’s got a vintage feel.”

The hot rod show was surrounded by five stages, with Merle Haggard headlining Thursday night. Haggard was also supposed to headline Friday night; however, those with the festival said he would not be able to take the stage. A festival spokesperson released the following statement:

"Due to unforeseen circumstance Merle couldn't get to the stage tonight; and he felt it was best to make an exit."

Haggard sent out this message on Twitter Friday night:



A spokesperson for the Ink & Iron festival could not confirm a contract dispute.

They said all green wristbands purchased for Friday night’s show would be honored throughout the weekend.

The full lineup ran from outlaw country to bluegrass, Thursday through Sunday.

Back inside, Aaron's tattoo was modeled after a fable with a certain message.

“It’s just to each his own, and everyone must find their own way and you must experience life individually,” he said.

That's the whole point, he said, of “kustom culture” brought by the festival. 

To learn more about the Ink N Iron Festival, including the schedule, click here.