Gathering of the Juggalos

What the Cops Think of This Year's Gathering of the Juggalos

Note: this weekend our colleagues at St. Louis' Riverfront Times are risking life and limb to cover the 2014 Gathering of the Juggalos outside Thornville, Ohio. This article was written by Daniel Hill and Drew Ailes.

What's different about this year's Gathering of the Juggalos? Well, the cops, for one thing.

During last year's coverage of the event, set in Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, we encountered minimal security. The gatekeepers and patrol staff, which were seemingly just exceptionally large Juggalos in "SECURITY" shirts, peered into backpacks to eliminate glass bottles and fireworks. Aside from that, they pretty much did nothing except hang out and then -- only after someone died of a drug overdose -- reactively shut down the Gathering's infamous drug bridge.

This year, however, we encountered a different scenario. While there remains a stock amount of bleary-eyed "security" volunteers to direct traffic (both vehicular and human), there were absolutely no searches. We just walked right through the front entrance, past a Deadhead-looking fellow with a beard, and straight into a clown-themed metropolis of chaos without nary a single question -- or even a glance. Predictably, glass bottles and fireworks abound.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
The Houston Press is a nationally award-winning, 33-year-old publication ruled by endless curiosity, a certain amount of irreverence, the desire to get to the truth and to point out the absurd as well as the glorious.
Contact: Houston Press