Insane Clown Posse on loving Ice Cube, hosting Charlie Sheen, and surviving this weekend's Gathering of the Juggalos: An EW Q&A


For the second consecutive weekend, the state of Illinois will play host to a major music festival.

Lollapalooza brought Foo Fighters, Eminem, Coldplay, and Muse to Chicago; the Gathering of the Juggalos will bring together hip-hop heavyweights like Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes, Lil Jon, Mystikal, and Paris, with a final Sunday night set by the festival’s founders and organizers, the Insane Clown Posse.

This is the 12th annual event for Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, and what began as a simple showcase for the groups on their label has turned into a major yearly event. The duo, who often refer to themselves as “The World’s Most Hated Band,” have put together four days of everything that falls under the header of Juggalo culture, including music, carnival rides, professional wrestling, drinking, nudity, and, of course, seminars.

Part of the popularity of the Gathering lies in the infomercials the Clowns have created to promote the events; the clips are such a viral sensation that they have been parodied on Saturday Night Live at least three times.

While normal festival rules apply this weekend (stay hydrated, wear sunblock), there are a few extra survival tips that EW picked up when we caught up with J and Shaggy last week. If you’re planning on making the trip out to Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, this weekend, remember these simple pieces of advice:

Pack More Clothes Than You Think You Need
This advice applies more to the band than it does to its followers, but it’s a reasonable idea. As Violent J pointed out, when you’re in ICP, you tend to go through a lot of shirts. “Everything we wear gets destroyed,” he explains. “From the clown paint on your face–not just doing shows, just doing everyday activities. Sitting around on the bus, you destroy every shirt you wear because your collar gets paint all over it, and the paint don’t come out of nothing even with the best Ajax.” Adds Shaggy 2 Dope, “Billy Mays himself couldn’t get it out.” Seeing as how many Juggalos themselves wear their own customized face paint and often cover each other with Faygo in the middle of shows, it’s safe to assume that you’ll probably need some back-up shirts.

Convince Ice Cube To Make Violent J’s Dreams Come True
Of all the acts booked at this year’s festival, Violent J is most looking forward to the presence of Ice Cube; the hip-hop icon has played the Gathering before, but this time J is hoping he’ll stop for a chat. “I’ve only gotten to talk to him for like 30 seconds,” he said. “He pulled his bus right up to the back of the stage, and the only time he came out was basically when he was on his way to the stage. I’m hoping that maybe he’ll be standing out catching some fresh air or something. We’re huge Ice Cube fans, and it’d be so cool to sit there and chop it up with Ice Cube for a couple minutes. Ten minutes or something. That’d be a dream come true.”

Charlie Sheen Will Feel Juggalo Love
Undoubtedly the biggest star visiting Cave-In-Rock this weekend is Charlie Sheen, who will be hosting the main stage acts on Saturday night (those performers include Tech N9ne, Vanilla Ice, and George Clinton). He’s there to provide entertainment between sets, though not even ICP know exactly what he’s going to do. “On the main stage, we have emcees hosting every night,” Shaggy 2 Dope explains. “They’ll come out between acts and get their shucky-ducky on and introduce acts and whatnot. So whatever [Sheen] does, he does.”

Other hosts include Flavor Flav and Dustin “Screech” Diamond, but Sheen remains the real x-factor. “Who the f— knows what Charlie Sheen’s gonna do? Wish we knew,” says J. “Why is Charlie Sheen at the Gathering? We have a theory: Whenever an artist is picked on by the mainstream, Juggalos are more apt to be supportive of them. Everybody’s pointing a finger at Charlie Sheen, dissing his lifestyle, tearing him up, making fun of everything he says, making him into a freak show. That’s what we are. Everything we do is misunderstood or misconstrued or picked on or f—ed with. Everybody says how s—-y we are and how horrible our music is and how lame we are, and we turn around get all the love in the world. The Juggalo love is a hundred times more powerful — a thousand times more powerful! — than a mainstream fan’s love.”

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
Last year, the Gathering grabbed a few headlines because of the near-riot at the Tila Tequila show and the fact that Method Man was struck by a flying bottle during his set with Redman. Violent J suggests that those acts might not have treated the Juggalos how they prefer to be treated. “Let’s be honest. No matter who you are, [if] you say the wrong thing, they could turn on you in a second,” he says. “Juggalos like to be addressed as Juggalos. I think they like the artist that’s playing the Gathering to know where they’re at. If you go up there and say ‘What’s up Chicago!’ or even if you say ‘Illinois!,’ Juggalos aren’t gonna like that. Because this guy, whoever it is onstage, obviously doesn’t know they’re playing the Juggalo Gathering. And this isn’t your normal gathering. This isn’t the state fair, this is the Juggalo Gathering and they like to be addressed as such. We’re not badmouthing Method Man and Redman at all, but they weren’t entirely informed of where they were playing. They were up onstage and the crowd was chanting ‘Family,’ which is like an expression of love, saying, ‘You’re accepted.’ It’s like saying, ‘Welcome to the Juggalo family.’ And I believe it was Redman who said, ‘What family? This is about hip hop.’ But they still loved him! It was one guy who got the luckiest shot ever. Believe me, if all the Juggalos were against you, you would have seen some s—.”

Come For The Music, Stay For The Wrestling
ICP have their own independent wrestling company (Juggalo Championship Wrestling, or JCW), and as longtime fans of sports entertainment, they are especially excited about the roster of legends who will be performing at the Gathering (including the likes of Terry Funk, Bob Backlund, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper). “This is the biggest independent legends wrestling show ever, anywhere in the world,” J says. “As a diehard, lifelong wrestling fan, it’s almost too hard to believe. Every match is a hall of fame match. “There’s no nobodies. There’s no ‘Who the f— is that guy?’ Every single spot is filled by a legend. It’s great, man.”

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Comments (27 total) Add your comment
  • Laqiesha

    I can’t wait to go!

    • Tony

  • crispy

    I’m surprised they’re still having this. Aren’t all their fans looting London right now?

    • keith

      No kidding.

  • jared

    I wonder if it will be the same as it was on “Workaholics”

    • ttlette

      no it is 20x’s better then portrayed on “workaholics”.

  • Polly

    I would hate to be on the cleaning crew after that festival. Bunch of animals.

    • Ron

      Actually, there are many juggalos who stick around and help clean up after the Gathering is over. There are also a lot of juggalos who pick up their garbage instead of leaving it where it is too.

      I think that perhaps you should not comment on what you know nothing about…

      • ttlette

        so true i was one of those people that did help HogDaddy clean up.

  • No More, No More

    *uck*ng magnets, how do they work?


    • Ron

      Stale, tiresome jokes…how do they work?

      I though 2010 was over…

  • NelsonMuntz

    There a lot of stupid people in the world.

    • NelsonMuntzis stupid

      YEAH like you !

  • Huh

    I thought that local sheriff’s department had so much trouble with this mess last year that they didn’t want them to return. Maybe the recession is making the area desperate for revenue.

    • John M.

      The Juggalo Fest takes place in southeast IL, which is very poor financially. As long as they’re allowed there, then that’s where it’ll be. The Juggalos have already been shopping at the local Wal-Mart Supercenter, where I work, getting all they need for the weekend. They’re definitely crazy-looking, but I don’t get too judgmental towards them.

      • Nathan

        Well you should.

      • Alex

        why Nathan ? Judge your own bitter and boring life and let people who are happy together, enjoying their time together by going to a fun festival with artists they love alone ! pathetic Nathan..

      • Erica Judd

        Thanks John, I wish everyone had that attitude.


  • Alex

    Seems very cool, too bad i am not in US right now, i would so much like to go, seems insane in a good way !!
    Go guys let’s make this festival unforgettable

    • ttlette

      it is very sane, most Juggalos tend to enjoy thier time away from the judgements coming from the world today Gathering is a way we as a group can go for comradery, love and understanding, plus where else are you going to see the Legendary George Clinton and P-funk share a stage with Ice Cube?… no where. check out the billboard article that they did , so much positive feedback!

  • john

    I know some fans of ICP and they are not bad people. But There are so many idiots flying that banner, I have little hope for a good festival for anyone that does not carry a hatchet or drink faygo.
    also check out ‘ wikidrama / juggalos’ for a good laugh

  • Erica Judd

    First off, Thanks, John M. I wish everyone had that attitude. Secondly, don’t let a few morons who pretend to be “juggalos” ruin it for everyone else. I’m a juggalette (female juggalo) and I pay taxes, vote, take care of both of my children, one who is severely disabled, and work for everything I have.I don’t do any drugs or even drink. We aren’t all bad people. I think the people who judge me when they don’t even know me are the one’s with the issue.

    “1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
    2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again”

    Matthew 7:1-2

  • juggalo joe

    When is it

  • Ron

    Despite all the negative views of the Gathering from people who’ve probably never attended a music festival in their life (yes, all music festivals have wild people attending) i highly suggest every Psychopathic fan go to a Gathering at least once. It’ll be the best time you’ll ever have.

  • mz

    Juggalos make Juggalos look bad.

  • tresorparis

    Interesting post and view, hope to hear more what the future holds THANKS Great post. Probably saved thousands of hours between everybody here. For me,this clearly is a heads up on which methods to focus on to maximise my online success . Ill start concentrating on your other articles instead. Really great advice. Thanks for sharing.

  • baby crib sets for girls

    Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn’t fail me as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I really believed you would probably have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you can fix if you were not too busy looking for attention.

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