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.)

gotj-wednesday-53.jpg
Nate "Igor" Smith
A few juggalos photographed on Wednesday, the first day of the Gathering, 2013.
Jesus Christ, there are boobs everywhere.

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. 

gotj-wednesday-3.jpg
Nate "Igor" Smith
Well, OK, maaaybe we will be murdered by Juggalos.

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.)

See also: The 2013 Gathering of the Juggalos Opens Up (NSFW)

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.

See Also:
- 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

Follow RFT Music on Twitter or Facebook. Follow RFT Music editor Daniel Hill on Twitter too, if you are into that sort of thing.

My Voice Nation Help
19 comments
squidsdogaming
squidsdogaming

To all the haters out there:

        Juggalo's are not who the media gives us to be. We are a peaceful family, even if our music represents drugs and guns. Most of modern music contains the same thing. Juggalos are no different than people who listen to Tupac or Rap in General. You can hate all you want. 1- it's not stopping the Juggalos 

2- We don't hold grudges against haters

3- We are just expressing ourselves through the music of Psychopathic Records.

tindragon2013
tindragon2013

What's the difference between the gathering of the juggalos and woodstock? The only reason people hate on anything that the juggalos have is because it was given to them by a bunch of cut ups that some how own a multimillion dollar company bit never

tindragon2013
tindragon2013

Wow juggalos are hated everywhere when in fact all the juggalos i have come across are nice people who are willing to help their friends even if that means doing things that people normally would be scared to do

Chico Andy Mann
Chico Andy Mann

I know the 'N' word carries a lot of heat but I still say it's not a completely racial term. These people are proof that white people can be N'rs too.

Michel Schiralli
Michel Schiralli

This article is horrible. The last line is "How long can this possibly continue to go right?" The answer to that is "not much longer" if you bring the heat like you seem to be doing. Great work. Spoil these people's fun why don't you.

Greil
Greil

Wow, Daniel. "Drugs" and "titties" where "social misfits can gather"? Goof on being murdered by these "savvy entrepreneurs" (when there actually has been some fucked-up deaths at Gatherings)? So far, so rinky-dink. But how exactly is this magical land of clowns still "subject to wild speculation" if it's been heavily covered in much greater depth and detail elsewhere and everywhere for at least the last 3 years running? This is shaping up to be some really excellent third-rate hackwork. 

Casey Kohler
Casey Kohler

I'm not a fan, but regardless, leave their fucking festival in peace, it's not gonna help if they have the DEA up their ass like Jimmy got. They're trying to enjoy their festival. Something we can't experience at schwagstock anymore, we should give them the same respect as we would want even if they are "misunderstood".

Will Balch
Will Balch

Juggalos misunderstood? The only misunderstanding is how these people are still around. Someone has clearly dropped a steamer in the gene-pool there.

Chris DiMercurio
Chris DiMercurio

Those people need to be sterilized.... Before they have more illegitimate children

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

"Misunderstood?" Your article and slideshow pretty confirm every thought that I have ever had about this absurd fan base.

June Bugg
June Bugg

-ACTUALLY THE FBI IZ THR REAL FULL FLEDGED GANG HUH?

Amanda Lynne
Amanda Lynne

Psst. Your cutline for the photos are the same for both.

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