The gathering of juggalos returned to Raise Hell with a smile

WDuring a tour of the 22nd Gathering of the Juggalos in Thornville, Ohio, a Juggalo was heard saying, “The best part of the Gathering is the meeting” – a statement that the four-day music festival, hosted by the Insane Clown Posse, damn well sums it up perfectly.

The Gathering is a music festival, but most of all it’s a way for juggalos to come together, forget about everything else in their lives and just enjoy each other’s company. COVID, inflation, abortion bans, gas prices, war in Europe, kids at school picking on you…none of it matters four days a year during the Juggalo Gathering, which took place August 3-7.

On the final night of the festival, just minutes before hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse’s closing set, we caught up with Mandy aka TripleSix, a juggler who’s been to 20 Gatherings, and asked her why she keeps coming back: “I’m looking I look forward to it all year. This is my escape from the real world. To come and be with all the weirdest, most wonderful motherfuckers that walk the earth.”

The Gathering is a huge, hedonistic family reunion. Though the Juggalos were controversially labeled a “loosely organized hybrid gang” by the FBI in 2011, sparking lawsuits and a march on Washington, DC, there’s no sign of it here.

For Pat, a Massachusetts Juggalo, ICP is the main reason he made this his 15th gathering. “The juggalos are great, the culture is great, but that’s just an extra. I care more about ICP.”

This year Pat and the other Juggalos got to see ICP play twice – a set of deep cuts on Wednesday night and a set of standards on Saturday. In between, dozens of bands performed, including rap legends Slick Rick, Sir Mix-a-Lot and KRS ONE. Days start at noon and last late into the night thanks to music and events such as the Bigfoot Seminar on the existence of Bigfoot; the Miss Juggalette pageant; a hot dog eating contest; and Vampiro’s Spoken Word, about Mexican wrestling superstar Vampiro. Pro wrestling, film screenings and haunted attractions round out the celebrations. When the organized events end at 4am, juggalos throw their own after-parties at their campsites until dawn.

At one of these community campgrounds, we stumbled across some sort of dabs-smoking contest, with two juggalos trying to smoke each other off a giant dabbing rig. Between rounds, we spoke to Justin, who met his wife and stepdaughter at the Gathering years ago, about what it all means to him. “That’s what we live for every year. You just forget all the bullshit when you’re here. The rest of the world doesn’t mean it while we’re here. This is home. That’s family.”

Here’s a series of exclusive images from this year’s Gathering of the Juggalos:

A dab huffing contest at the 2022 Gathering of the Juggalos in Thornville, Ohio.

Nate “Igor” Smith

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A contestant in the hot dog eating contest at the 2022 Gathering of the Juggalos in Thornville, Ohio.

Nate “Igor” Smith

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A car is totally destroyed at the Gathering of the Juggalos 2022 in Thornville, Ohio.

Nate “Igor” Smith

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The Insane Clown Squad spray paints Faygo at the 2022 Gathering of the Juggalos in Thornville, Ohio.

Nate “Igor” Smith

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Insane Clown Posse performing at the 2022 Gathering of the Juggalos in Thornville, Ohio.

Nate “Igor” Smith

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-gathering-of-the-juggalos-returned-to-raise-hell-with-a-smile?source=articles&via=rss The gathering of juggalos returned to Raise Hell with a smile

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