Gathering of the Juggalos: Misconceptions and First Impressions
Jesus Christ, there are drugs everywhere.
This is not a revelation, I know. Tales of the "drug bridge" at the Gathering are well known. Actually walking across the thing is a whole different story, though. Every single drug that I have ever heard of is represented, in large quantities. Salesmen peddle their wares loudly to all who walk by -- at 5 a.m. we were offered "cocaine for breakfast" by a heavy-set fella still stationed at his post. Many dealers not on the bridge wander around with megaphones, loudly advertising whatever mind-altering substance it is that they have to offer. And one of the very first things we witnessed upon arrival was an abundance of individuals wandering the grounds double-fisting balloons of nitrous oxide. Still, I have seen surprisingly few people passed out face-down in the mud. I guess Juggalos have a knack for handling their chemicals. (Although we were told by a police officer that there had been ten overdoses on acid in the first day -- apparently some bad stuff is going around.)
Jesus Christ, there are boobs everywhere.
Nate "Igor" Smith A few juggalos photographed on Wednesday, the first day of the Gathering, 2013.
Interestingly, Juggalettes seem to be eager/willing/happy to show off their breasts, often by request and with no promise of compensation. Many simply wander around without shirts on at all. At this point I am torn between whether the situation is exploitative or empowering. On the one hand, the men on the grounds seem to have the same mentality as those who attend Mardi Gras celebrations, and they are often boorish in their approach. On the other, it is hot outside, and I have definitely taken my own shirt off, so why shouldn't the ladies do the same?
Either way, there are boobs everywhere. What's funny about it is that in the dark it becomes difficult to tell if you are seeing the breasts of a shapely female or those of a big fat guy. Both are well-represented.
Well, OK, maaaybe we will be murdered by Juggalos.
Nate "Igor" Smith
This seems to be a place without laws. Huge groups of people are high on every chemical substance known to man. Festivities last until five in the morning, every night. Golf carts are driven with reckless abandon at high speeds on pedestrian trails by intoxicated individuals -- some of whom are even famous. (We spotted Violent J in his ride, making his way across the drug bridge, sans facepaint. Spoiler alert: He's fat.)
The point is, danger lurks around every corner. Though I truly believe that these people don't explicitly mean harm to anyone (even press dorks like us), this does all amount to a recipe for potential disaster. There is very nearly a complete lack of supervision, coupled with reckless intoxication and a pervasive "fuck everything" attitude (no seriously, I read that on a shirt this guy was wearing).
How long can this possibly continue to go right?
Follow Daniel Hill on Twitter @fatrobocop, and watch for more Gathering coverage coming this week.
- Ten Must-Have Items When Camping with Juggalos
- Death Reported at Gathering of the Juggalos; Drug Bridge Closed
- Ten Things You Do Not Need When Camping With Juggalos
- Behold the Waking Nightmare of Juggalo Port-a-Potties
- The Gathering of the Juggalos' Best Overheard Quotations
- Death at the Gathering of the Juggalos: "Four Dudes That Had Been Sleeping With a Corpse."
- Juggalo Eats and the Quest for the Mystical Burrito Man
- Here Are the Things That Happen After 5 a.m. at the Gathering of the Juggalos
- This Incredible Make-A-Wish Teenager Went to the Gathering of the Juggalos, Got a Lap Dance (NSFW)
- Juggalo Aftermath: Things We Found on the Ground at the Gathering