We talked to the cops at the Gathering of the Juggalos

Categories: Music Festivals

cops-juggalos-image-1.jpg
Nate "Igor" Smith
What's different about this year's Gathering of the Juggalos in Thornville, Ohio? Well, the cops for one thing.

During last year's coverage of the event, set in Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, we encountered minimal security. The gatekeepers and patrol staff, which were seemingly just exceptionally large juggalos in "SECURITY" shirts, peered into backpacks to eliminate glass bottles and fireworks. Aside from that, they pretty much did nothing except hang out and then - only after someone died of a drug overdose -- reactively shut down the Gathering's infamous drug bridge.

This year, however, we encountered a different scenario. While there remains a stock amount of bleary-eyed "security" volunteers to direct traffic (both vehicular and human), there were absolutely no searches. We just walked right through the front entrance, past a Deadhead-looking fellow with a beard, and straight into a clown-themed metropolis of chaos without nary a single question -- or even a glance. Predictably, glass bottles and fireworks abound.

Yet, this year's security force is a departure from the past in that it includes a small armada of uniformed police officers on golf carts loudly labeled "SHERIFF."

Understandably, the presence of police this year has created apprehension within the juggalo community. In the months leading up to this year's Gathering, many ICP fans took to message boards and Twitter to voice concern about the anticipated police presence. In response, the official website for the Gathering of the Juggalos provided a pre-emptive and reassuring statement from Psychopathic Records co-owner, Robert "Jumpsteady" Bruce. In part:

"Now I am not sure if ninjas new to the scene realize this, but there have been more than a few Gatherings that have had a sheriff's presence before. In fact, the Gathering of the Juggalos at Frontier Ranch back in 2006 had the exact same sheriff's department on the grounds that will be at this year's Gathering. I have recently talked to the colonel of the sheriff's department and he told me he is not expecting any problems at the Gathering this year because he had none back in 2006. He fully understands that juggalos are coming to have fun and his people are not there to arbitrarily give ninjas the bone."

Despite those assurances, those planning to attend the Gathering remained leery. An entire forum post on juggalo website Faygoluvers.net remains dedicated to the subject, and its most recent posts lament the experience of Twitter user/lady juggalo @Dani2Dope77, who reported that she had her phone broken as cops searched her car somewhere in Ohio while en route to the Gathering -- though it should be noted that that search not conducted by the same police force that is on the grounds this year.

Curious about the realities of the situation, we decided to go straight to the police themselves once we landed at the Gathering.

Story continues on the next page.


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53 comments
mickdobbles
mickdobbles

I'M DOWN WITH THE CLOWN TILL THEY BURY ME IN THE GROUND

Che Weller
Che Weller

Gathering of the... fuck.hell.no's

Erin Maguire Pettitt
Erin Maguire Pettitt

Why... WHY IS THIS STILL A TOPIC?? Nobody cares!! I would rather read endless pot and mugshot posts than this trash. Ugh.

Oscar Dozal
Oscar Dozal

Why do you have to keep talking about this shit hole of an event? Get it together westword.

Aj Vaughn
Aj Vaughn

Some1 should fire bomb that place....

Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Also know as the largest meeting of "special needs" individuals in the tri state area.

Miri Ladenburger
Miri Ladenburger

I bet the couple I met at the mall who named their child "Melinko" were there. True story. .

Ric Saxton
Ric Saxton

FBI 'gang' what a joke, according to the FBI everybody is something. What about the Grateful Dead and dead heads? It is a goofy 'sub-culture' at best. Rights of passage for young minded people. I checked out those guys online a few months back and some of their songs are totally fun. Their videos are a blast, nice cross overs and mash ups with other fandom based groups.

Josh Smith
Josh Smith

Luis Perez no kidding!! #Torchthegathering

Christopher Harris
Christopher Harris

Their last tour was sponsored by a Christian Church, there's your gang lol

Luis Perez
Luis Perez

I say we lock them in the event and set it a blaze!!! What do u think Josh Smith?

Christine Moser
Christine Moser

I'm not really a fan of any of the music. Not my cup of tea, but I don't judge. I've met some really awful Juggalos, but met just as many awesome ones. I've made friends that are Juggalos that I've become to love dearly, so don't judge people based on what you really don't know about them.

Jøsh Kåmm
Jøsh Kåmm

Yea straight up and the headline says FBI recognized gang which they are... So are deadheads so chilllllll

Eric Diefel
Eric Diefel

What's the big deal? Every single one of The juggalos get dropped off at the event by their parents and picked up at 11 pm afterwords. Then straight to bed after a long exhausting day of being douchebags.

David Madrid
David Madrid

You live in some crazy fantasy world Stan. It's still their choice to become degenerates and pimples on societies ass

Amelia Stickelmyer
Amelia Stickelmyer

Mandi Chrisjohn I didn't know you were a juggalo until I saw this pic of you :)

M'Rae Sanchez
M'Rae Sanchez

Juggalos are not a gang. They are just a bunch of drop out who dont shower , brush their teeth or wash their clothes.

Ossama Hussein
Ossama Hussein

real hip hop is light years away from the gathering of the juggalos

Kim Heffelfinger
Kim Heffelfinger

LoL Kirk, showing your true colors and that's why no one likes these clowns ;)

Kirk Jordan
Kirk Jordan

Not a gang at all period you ignorant retards

David Madrid
David Madrid

Meth head junkie fest is what it should be called. Degenerates in every single way

Lauren L T Taylor
Lauren L T Taylor

this is the only thing I look forward to in the Westword these days because it's hilarious how trashy these people are.

Juliana Sams
Juliana Sams

Hey Dom Mango I heard you were going to be there this year

Jeremy Dobson
Jeremy Dobson

Not this shit again, please. You already beat this horse to death last summer.

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