Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The 20th Gathering Of The Juggalos ended, as you might expect, with everything on fire

Illustration for article titled The 20th Gathering Of The Juggalos ended, as you might expect, with everything on fire
Photo: Tasos Katopodis (Getty Images)

Last weekend, while you were all cozied up on your discount sectional from AllModern, watching the season finale of Euphoria and—from a safe distance—living vicariously through the thrilling-yet-dangerous lives of fictional teens, something truly awesome was happening in a little park in Indiana. (Spoiler: It was not Lil’ Sebastian.) In what may as well be an entirely different universe, a large group—or gathering, if you will—of people were experiencing their own version of euphoria: The hedonistic annual family reunion known as the Gathering Of The Juggalos, in which fans of the Insane Clown Posse set upon various midwest campgrounds and recreational parks for three Faygo- and drug-drenched days of music and the sort of activities us non-Juggalo folk have only seen on episodes of HBO’s Real Sex (RIP).


Thankfully, The Daily Beast documented this, the 20th Gathering Of The Juggalos, in a series of photos that would make a veteran National Geographic photographer weep—for nothing, not even bearing witness to a lost tribe of indigenous peoples on some remote island or beholding a pregnant tigress at sunset on a desert plain, comes close to the pure beauty of seeing the Juggalos and Juggalettes in their natural habitat. Uninhibited and unconstrained by social mores and restrictive clothing, free to wear their colorful face paint and commune with chickens, inflatable swimming structures, and toilet plungers.

It is perhaps impossible to define what makes this 20th Gathering Of The Juggalos so magical, but The Daily Beast found the perfect series of words to do so:

The fact that the infamous festival, produced by the rap group Insane Clown Posse, happened more than once is incredible; that it has happened 20 times consecutively is an absolute miracle.

A miracle, indeed. As you might imagine, convening such a large group—or “family,” as they are colloquially known—of Juggalos and showering them with Faygo soda and illicit substances is not without its own dangers. And so it was on the final night of the Gathering, that the Juggalos lay waste to the Lawrence County Recreational Park in Springville, Indiana, ending their annual pilgrimage in a ritual cleansing of fire. What follows may be the most perfect paragraph ever written:

Insane Clown Posse’s final night set ended with juggalos setting fire to picnic tables, chairs, and anything that wasn’t tied down as other juggalos lamented about “goddamn juggalos” that were going to get the festival kicked out of another city. As the fire burned and the festival came to an end, juggalos gathered ‘round the fire and paraphrased a popular pro wrestling chant: “We fucked up! We fucked up!”