I don’t even know where to begin. Last Thursday Camille Dodero, my editor at the Village Voice asked me if I wanted to go see the Insane Clown Posse in Worcester, MA the next day. It didn’t take long for her to convince me that this was a good idea. As you probably remember a few months ago Camille and I covered the Gathering of the Juggalos for the Village Voice. It turned out to be one of the most successful stories in the paper’s recent history and was even heralded by ICP as one of the truest stories about ICP and juggalo culture. For me it was pretty successful too, I took over 6000 pictures that ended up becoming 21 of the most successful posts this website has ever had. I sold photos to Vice, Rolling Stone and Radar Online and I did 2,000,000 page views in one week. Juggalos and their haters rule the internet.
Most people see photos of juggalos and laugh. They are supposedly these violent poor white trash kids who dress in goofy make up and listen to bad music. But I come from a slightly different place. I can laugh at some of these kids and be horrified by pictures of naked fat girls, but I my self was once a juggalo. I have told the story before but it’s time for a refresher. When I was 17 I lost my virginity to a juggalette. The next year my very first girlfriend was also very down with the clown. Between two of them and small group of friends that I met in my 10th and 11th grade years of high school, we became huge ICP fans. I think one Christmas I asked for pretty much nothing but ICP rarities and memorabilia. I saw the band a number of times, painted my face and had a hell of a lot of fun, but by the time I had graduated high school I pretty much regretted the year or two I spent as a juggalo.
Fast forward more than a decade and ICP hits the internet with a viral explosion. First with their advertisement for the Gathering of the Juggalos 10 and then again months later with their Miracles video. I thought they were pretty funny too, but secretly I just kept thinking about how much fun the Gathering looked and how fucking crazy it would be to go there and take photos. So when the 11th annual Gathering of the Juggalos was announced I quickly got to work trying to find someone to pay me to go to it. Luckily Camille was thinking the same thing and we pitched the Village Voice the story.
So we went off to the middle of nowhere and spent 4 days with 10,000 juggalos and almost no cops. When I finally left the Cave In Rock, IL campground I was very happy to leave, but I honestly had a lot of fun and met a lot of really nice people. Yeah, they did attack Tila Tequila, but they were nothing but cool to me and Camille. They embraced us as family and I sort of realized why I loved this band to begin with. They are fucking fun. They play music that is basically the equivelent to watching a bad horror movie. And there is a real sense of community, even if it’s slightly cultish and scary.
Friday afternoon Camille picked me up in a rental car and drove to Worcester, MA. It was supposed to take us less than 4 hours but because of traffic it took us close to 7. We listened to ICP the entire drive. It was pretty intense. When we got to Worcester I was totally sketched out. The place looks like it is just crawling with crackheads. It looked like the most shady place I have ever been to and I grew up in DC in the ’80s. When I got to the club we got searched head to toe TSA style and we dropped off some toys we bought on the way for the Toys for Tots drive they were doing. I spent the rest of the time photographing people in the lobby while Camille talked to people for a story she is writing on New England juggalos.
The club was called the Palladium and was actually an amazing club. Their security didn’t really know how to handle juggalos and took a really strong armed approach to policing them which led to a few incidences, but the club itself was fantastic. It’s and all ages club with three floors including a balcony up top from which you could watch the show without getting covered in Faygo. (Wish I had known that, I would have brought my telephoto lens and actually shot the band.) The main bottom floor has stadium style seating going down to a pit area in front of the stage, but their were no assigned seats so people just sort of roamed. It was a pretty cool environment.
When ICP started playing everyone went nuts. Faygo flew and people just got mental. I found out that they are on the “Old Shit” tour and only played old songs which meant I actually knew about 90% of their set list. I was amazed to find out how many lyrics I still knew. I was rocking out with the crowd but of course mostly taking their pictures. The show ended with a huge brawl in the back of the crowd and a lot of people doing Nitrous in the parking lot. So yeah, they might be a little violent and a little bit white trash, but juggalos know how to fucking have fun and that is more than a lot of my hipster friends know how to do…
Now that I have done my little speech you are free to laugh or whatever you want to do with these pictures. Either you love them or hate them, but anyway you put it juggalos make for some fucking awesome photos.
Click here to see all the photos from Insane Clown Posse in Worcester, MA. And if you are new to this site, click here to see all my pictures from the Gathering of the Juggalos.
Oh and by the way, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone so yes, there is some juggalo porn in this gallery so we get to rate it NSFW. Woop Woop.