Thousands of horror-core rap fans have descended on the annual meeting of the Juggalos festival in Legend Valley in Ohio for four days of debauchery.
From spraying each other with beer to playing fighting with a dildo on a stick and a man pushing a hot pepper up his bum and then taking a bite, The US Sun took an exclusive look at the festival for Juggalos.
Juggalos is the name attributed to the followers of the rap duo Insane Clown Posse (ICP) and will often don clown faces and outfits for their encounters.
ICP was formed in the early 1990s by Violent J, whose real name is Joseph Bruce, and Shaggy 2 Dope, whose real name is Joseph Utsler.
The name Juggalos is said to stem from the 1992 ICP song titled The Juggla.
ICP operates a music label called Psychopathic Records and also orchestrates the Gathering, now entering its 22nd year.
Legend Valley, Ohio is the setting of the festival, with more than 130 acres of land — including a new 10-acre campground, according to the Juggalo Gathering website.
The theme of the festival is The Gathering of Dreams.
Billed as “the Greatest Family Reunion on Earth,” it claims to be the longest-running independent rap festival in the world, according to the website.
There are a handful of rules listed on the website banning golf carts, minibikes, and motorized vehicles “due to safety-related issues that have arisen at gatherings in the past.”
Fireworks are also not allowed as there are many trees on the festival site.
Despite such rules and regulations, some accidents have happened in the history of the festivals.
DRUGS AND DEATH AND FAYGO
The Gathering has made headlines a handful of times since it began in 2000 for a variety of reasons, including drug overdoses and rowdy behavior.
Cory Collins, 24, died at the festival in 2013 after complaining he was not feeling well.
Collins had reportedly visited a “drug bridge” infamous at the meeting.
The bridge was a marketplace for various recreational drugs used during the festival.
And while there had been reports of overdoses at previous festivals, Collins’ death that year led to the drug bridge closing.
In 2017, eight people were arrested when the festival was held in Oklahoma City.
Some of the arrests were drug-related, according to FOX25.
Michael Schintgen, 28, was arrested with possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and hundreds of dollars, the outlet reports.
Two people have been arrested for setting off illegal fireworks.
The festival usually ends with a performance by the ICP spraying the crowd with Faygo, a popular Midwestern soft drink.
HISTORY OF ICP
Founded in Detroit in the early 1990s, ICP is known for creating its own musical universe known as the Dark Carnival.
Characters introduced on each of the duo’s albums have their own storyline within the Dark Carnival.
Some of the characters include Ringmaster, the Great Milenko, and The Amazing Jeckel Brothers.
Music in the Dark Carnival, while violent, is intended as a metaphor for systematic oppression, Insider reported.
Juggalos claim that they do not stand for violence.
Instead, they have consistently said that their community is about love and peace.
In fact, the clownish face paint and even the spraying of Faygo that is known to dominate the festival are said to help community members get closer.
Despite the fact that ICP’s fanbase has been around for decades, the Juggalos remain baffling to the rest of society.
In 2011, the FBI designated the Juggalo community as a non-traditional gang as part of the National Gang Threat Assessment.
During this review, the FBI determined that there are approximately 1 million people who identify as Juggalos and Juggalettes, or female Juggalos.
ICP, the Juggalos and even the ACLU have filed lawsuits challenging this designation.
But the duo has continued to host the festival and make music.
“We love it,” Violent J told The Daily Beast.
“We are the most hated band in the world, that’s our claim to fame.”
The US Sun has asked both festival organizers and the Thornville, Ohio Police Department for comment.