Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon asks fans to design his new tattoo

Singer wants to be inked with images from his favourite TV show 'Northern Exposure'

Bon Iver‘s Justin Vernon has asked fans to design him a new tattoo based on his favourite TV show.

The folk singer-songwriter, whose band was recently voted the ‘worst hipster act’ ever, is offering a cash prize to the winner of his 99designs competition and will have their illustration inked on his arm.

Vernon has published a long description detailing the requirements he wants from his new body art, with the singer choosing five finalists to propose designs influenced by the TV series Northern Exposure – the same show which was the inspiration behind his band’s name, and the name of his new record label.


The comedy drama ran for six series between 1990 and 1995, and detailed the lives of the inhabitants of the fictional town of Cicely in Alaska.

He wrote: “I named my band after an episode of Northern Exposure. In the episode a women transforms a gold rush village into a cultural place with one single dance in a tavern. They name the town after her, Cicely, Alaska.

“The art direction in the episode is unmistakably Mucha [Czech painter Alphonse Mucha] and I want to get a very large tattoo of this on my left arm.”

Vernon, who uploaded a series of images for fans to take inspiration from, went on to say: “My favourite, hopefully what your illustrations will be based on, is the image I uploaded of Cicely with arms outstretched in mid-dance. You can’t see her with the flowing scarf in her hands, but it would be cool if we could involve that.”

He later added: “This is a really important thing to me. I don’t know how to express that exactly… Its a TV show but it weirdly explained my life to me. Cicely is the metaphor for that.” To see the designs submitted by the five finalists, click here.

Bon Iver are set to embark on an arena tour of the UK and Ireland in November this year. The gigs kick off on November 8 at London’s Wembley Arena and run until November 10 when the band headline Dublin’s O2 Arena. They will also play dates in Manchester and Glasgow.


Bon Iver will play:

London Wembley Arena (November 8)
Manchester Arena (9)
Glasgow SECC (10)
Dublin O2 Arena (12)

To check the availability of Bon Iver tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0871 230 1094.