The 10th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos

Insane Clown Posse

Every now and again, I get an email or a phone call from someone doing a story on technical evangelism, community-building or some other Tipping Point-y matter. I’m always happy to answer their questions, and they usually take my answers seriously until they ask me for examples of people, organizations or groups that have been successful at community building. When I mention Insane Clown Posse, they think I’m pulling their leg.

If you take a couple of guys who started out holding wrestling matches in their back yards, put them in clown make-up, have them rap while backed by a metal band, all the while giving a GWAR-like performance, you get the rap-and-wrestling act Insane Clown Posse. They know how to put on a good show (yup, I’ve been to one), and they know how to reach out to their fans, who are referred to as Juggalos (which comes from the name of one of their numbers, The Juggla). Juggalos are a very loyal and tightly-knit group, which comes from their being outside the mainstream. They appear in droves at Insane Clown Posse’s shows, host gatherings for other Juggalos and evangelize Insane Clown Posse to people who don’t listen to them. They are true believers, the sort of audience that any band, author, performer or even brand would kill to have.

(Okay, I’ll admit it. In my collection of mix CD’s and my MP3 collection, you’ll find mixed CDs and playlists for long car trips, and in those playlists, you’ll find a selection of Insane Clown Posse songs. There’s something about a combination of carnival barker-style hip-hop combined with circus music, wailing guitars and shotgun blasts that I find enjoyable when behind the wheel. There. I said it. Commence your mockery.)

The 10th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos

One of the ways Insane Clown Posse reach out to the Juggalos is through the Annual Gathering of the Juggalos, a big camping event with a carnival atmosphere. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Gathering of the Juggalos, and they’re doing it up in grand style. Check out the promo video for this year’s Gathering:

I have to admit that I’m intrigued by:

  • The wrestling: I have to admit that I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff.
  • The music acts: Ice Cube, Vanilla Ice and GWAR, all on the same ticket?! I’d like to see that.
  • The comedy acts: What’s Pauly Shore doing there? Jimmy Walker, “J.J.” from Good Times? And Rowdy Roddy Piper, former wrestler and star of the eighties cult classic film, They Live?
  • Hey, helicopter rides!

I’ve already booked a trip for the weekend of the Gathering of the Juggalos, and even if I hadn’t, it would be impossible to sell this idea to The Missus. I did mention it to my friend Pete Forde, and it piqued his interest. Were I single, I think I could’ve convinced him and a couple of other people to make a road trip down to wherever Cave-In-Rock, Illinois (population 346) is and spend a weekend in the mosh post drenched in Faygo.