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Finally, I get to attend BME fest!

"Hey Jamie what are you doing on Canada day?"
"Nothing much just going to Toronto for the day" "Oh yeah, want to come to BME fest with me?" "What the fuck is that?"

So I told her it's one of the most sought after body modification events that occur on a yearly basis and people come from all over the world to attend one of these things. I was determined to go but wasn't exactly sure how I was going to manage this one. That is until I called one of my best friends in Ontario and she along with her daughter Pyper agreed to come along with Me.

I didn't even know that BME , let alone BME fest even existed until I seen a special on TLC one night
about body modifications. I remember thinking that was the coolest thing ever and immediately looked into that very night which led to my discovery of not only BME but the IAM community as well. After hearing all kinds of good stuff about BME fest 2004 and being un-able to attend BME fest 2005 because it was being held in Mexico I had pretty much given up hope that I would be able to attend one. Than once the 2006 event rolled around and Shannon had moved back to Ontario I thought maybe this year I can actually swing it!

I live in Montreal but having taken the summer lay off opportunity from my job at Concordia university I decided to head to where I consider to be home which is Cambridge, Ontario for a month possibly longer. However I didn't have a car seeing as how I had gotten a ride down and was planning on taking the bus home I was wondering how I was going to make it. I considered taking the bus to Toronto and back however even with really good directions I am one of the most directionally challenged people on the face of the planet. Thankfully Jaime took care of that problem for me. Both of our moms wanted to tag along as well but they both had to work.

Thankfully this years afternoon event had taken place in High park in Toronto which was good for two things: One we couldn't get a sitter for Pyper so it would be a child friendly enough environment for her and the second one being it was close enough without being too far out of the way. My only major concern was that Pyper freaks out when you have too much metal in your face and she screams. Trying to be considerate I posted this in the events forum so that people that attended the event seen her freak out weren't offended by this. Turns out that wasn't an issue which Jaime I consider to be a good thing.

The night before I packed up my camera and made sure I had lots of film (no I have yet to invest in a digital camera as of yet) and made sure I had some bottles of water in my freezer in case it was an exceptionally hot day that day. Made sure my Thank God I'm tattooed shirt was clean. Since I had no visible tattoos at the time and my piercings are on a smaller less noticeable scale because of my job I figured wearing the shirt was somewhat appropriate in the event that I couldn't find where BME fest actually was. I had a vague recollection of Shannon mentioning that it would be close to the front entrance of the park.

We pulled up sometime around 1:30 in the afternoon and finding a place to park was a bit of a hassle but we managed although we were way on the other side and had to walk quite a bit to get to the front entrance. All the while I was looking around for other people that I thought may have been part of the crew attending BME fest. I did see a rather large group of individuals in on picnic area and I said to Jaime maybe that's them there. Well my vision sucks and I couldn't see that far ahead and Jaime pointed out that everyone in that group was black. I had to laugh at myself but hey it was a large gathering of people who was I to think otherwise?

Since my water was still frozen and Pyper had the munchies we stopped off at a concession stand to get some food and what not. It was there that I realized we were close to the event that we sought after. Only because the girl working the counter had commented on my shirt and asked if something was going on that day because she had seen so many people with beautiful tattoos and some elaborate piercings. I thought well if they are all stopping by here than we can't be too far off. Turns out we were right across the street. I wasn't too sure what to think at the moment, we were finally there but was anyone that I knew going to be there? Thankfully upon my arrival as I scanned the crowd I seen my friend Carly and her fiancée Evan .

That was a bit of a relief because meeting someone for the first time is always awkward and sometimes although usually not I can be a shy person. Than I seen Marcus who is our apprentice at FirstStar body modifications
along with Morgan and Paulina came back a few minutes later. I felt a little more comfortable after seeing people from Montreal that I knew and had already previously met. I introduced Jaime to all of the people that I knew and just hung out for a little bit and looked around for other familiar faces.

That's when Carly pointed out Rebekah to me, so I decided to walk over and meet her since I have gabbed with her online on various occasions. So I waltzed over there and nudged her in the shoulder and said "hey how's it going?" to which she looked at me with an almost disturbed look on her face and said to me "do I know you?" I looked and her and said " well you should I talk to you often enough". Than I told her my IAM name and she was really nice to me after that. While standing there talking to Rebekah she was kind enough to introduce me to Lara and her lovely friend Mike whom I am not sure is on BME/IAM or not. To which I also recognized Jen and I introduced myself to her as well. I also got to meet a fairly new IAM'er from Brantford tattooedrae who was really nice and a very interesting person to talk to.

So I hung out in the one area for a while talking to my friends and meeting some more people along the way who's names have officially escaped me at the moment. I was dragging Carly around with me because I figured the whole reason we were there was to meet people who were on IAM. So Shannon who for once didn't have a huge crowd of people around him was talking to Shawn so I took Carly over with me to meet them both. At first Carly didn't want too and asked me why, to which I told her if it wasn't for Shannon and him being the genius behind BME and IAM her and Evan never would have met therefore she wouldn't have gotten married. She told me she hated me because she knew I had a point but than she fired back with well if it wasn't for IAM you wouldn't hate your husband right now (that is a whole other novel unto itself). However it's not IAM's fault for me hating on him hence the reason why I didn't come along with hubby that day he had to stay in Montreal.

Anyway we went over and said hi and all that stuff and conversation basically came to a standstill. What do you say to people you hardly know let alone have hardly talked to? I also had the pleasure of meeting Blair who did a beautiful scarification piece on a woman only known to me as "Daisy". I admired Daisy's confidence and I'm somewhat envious of her being so in tune with herself. It's an admirable quality that most people lack (including me). I also got to meet Scott who was a total riot and a lot of fun to hang out with.

All in all BME fest was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed myself. It was quite the casual afternoon with some of the guys screwing around and climbing trees and apparently I missed quite a bit by not being there first thing in the morning with everyone else. I got to see some interesting and beautiful tattoos as well. I'm sorry that I missed the evening festivities due to having a three year old in tow and lack of funds. BME fest reminded me of some of the bush parties I used to go to when I was younger except there was no alcohol and it was legal this time. I was glad that I was able to attend and meet some new people and to catch up with some old friends. Hopefully next year will be just as good if not better, better yet hopefully I'll actually be able to attend the whole thing and not just a small portion of it. Now I just have to get off my ass and get my film developed.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 13 July 2006
in Culture

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