And Finally, The Music Of The 2023 Gathering Of The Juggalos

It’s all over, we made it to the last post. Will we have to wait another whole year for juggalo content? Only time will tell but this is a wrap for the 2023 Gathering of the Juggalos. All we got left is the music stuff, and it’s the largest gallery of them all. I got over 250 band photos to share with you guys, and some Riff Raff related drama to share and I will try and speak about every artist I photographed and maybe a few I didn’t. Let’s begin…

As I mentioned in a previous post, I didn’t shoot much the first night I was there. I didn’t get in until horrorcore legends NATAS were playing but it was too late to shoot them. So we start on day two when I photographed Korihor and by photographed I mean I took like two photos of them from the crowd because I missed the beginning of their set photographing the wet t-shirt contest. I feel like you understand. After that the 90s rock/grunge band Sponge played. They are from Detroit like ICP so that makes sense I think. You would absolutely know their song Plowed if you heard it. Speaking of 90s bands, Arrested Development was up next. Their first album was the first CD I ever owned and I was psyched to see them. They were great and juggalos absolutely loved them. A mosh pit broke out during Everyday People which was incredible. 

After they ended Riff Raff went on and people seemed excited about it. I barely knew that dude made music, but juggalos were like singing along to his songs. Despite what would have been a mostly positive reception he seemed terrified of the juggalos. He didn’t leave the very back of the stage, mostly hiding behind the DJ booth. Obviously some juggalos threw some Faygo at him, because that’s what they do, but he reacted to it with abject horror. Once juggalos saw that they of course started throwing more shit at him. He brought out a bodyguard which was hilarious to everyone. He forced his boys to go out in front of him and knock stuff down. He then proceeded to perform backstage. Eventually he brought out a second security guard and one of his crew had an actual umbrella and was trying to protect him. At some point a can of Faygo missed him by a few feet and he got splashed and ran backstage to jeers and laughter. It was fucking embarrassing. I posted a video of it and he responded with some hilarious shit about how he had paid for his whole crew to get new hair cuts or something. He deleted the Tweet a few hours later but that didn’t stop my Twitter mentions from becoming a garbage dump. Oh well. 

The mainstage headliners were ICP doing a “Wicked Clowns From Outer Space” show which was based on a tour they did in 1999 which I might actually have gone to back in the day. I don’t really need to do a write up about the Insane Clown Posse again, but if you ever are in a situation where you could see ICP live, I highly recommend it. Even if you hate the music, they are incredible live. Like, one of the best live acts I have ever seen even in 2023. 

Part of being middle aged with a back injury and having photographed the Gathering 13 times is that I tend to go home early. I get there late, go home early, get enough photos and try not to kill myself. So I usually head back to the hotel after the headlining band. Occasionally I do stick around for a late night act or two, and on Thursday night RA The Rugged Man was playing. I enjoy his music, we have mutual friends and he always puts on a good show so I figured I would check out at least part of his set. He did his thing as usual but at some point the mics stopped working so he just grabbed a juggalo’s megaphone and jumped into the crowd. It was a sharp contrast to the Riff Raff set, which RA made clear when he said “I don’t care if you all hit me with a cinder block, I’m not leaving!” He also brought a ton of juggalos on stage, had two juggalette’s serving booze to the crowd and brought out a rapper named Reverie Love who absolutely killed it. I was about leave when my friend mentioned that D Loc of Kottonmouth Kings was playing next. His team had reached out to me about filming something for them, but they weren’t trying to pay me so that didn’t happen, but I figured I could at least shoot a few songs of their set. Finally around 1:30am I escaped the Gathering. 

Day three started off with Whitney Peyton. She’s played the Gathering a bunch and when I first saw her I didn’t really think much of it, but the last couple times she put on an incredible show, so I knew I had to check out her set and I made the right decision. She crowd walked, talked shit about Riff Raff, stole my hat at one point and performed a couple songs from the mosh pit. Towards the end of her set I Tweeted a video of her in the crowd to contrast the Riff Raff shit and when I looked up she was in a kiddie pool crowd surfing. It was great. My only complaint was that she decided that she wanted pink bubbles during her set and you couldn’t even tell they were pink but they covered my hat, vest and camera with little pink dots that I still can’t get out of the grip of my lens. 

After Whitney was Ritz who is another rapper I have seen at the Gathering a bunch and then Mac Sabbath who are a McDonald’s themed band that does like Black Sabbath parody songs about fast food. I don’t really know why they exist but I am really glad I got to photograph them. Also, as I mentioned before my friend’s boyfriend was working for them so I ended up hanging out with him after their set during the headliner Ouija Macc, but before that happened we had a set from Yelawolf who I have photographed a bunch of times. Every time I am at the Gathering I make sure to do a good job photographing Ouija Mac, not only is he the most popular non ICP act at the Gathering but he’s the absolutely nicest dude and he’s managed by friends of mine. I had to get a quick quote from him for my Daily Beast article and I ended up missing City Morgue’s set the next day because we were just talking about whatever and now we are talking about me going out on tour with him for a few dates this fall. So yeah, we fuck with Ouija. 

On the final day of the Gathering I didn’t shoot a ton of bands, as I mentioned I missed City Morgue who were the pre-ICP headliners. I did shoot Alien Ant Farm who apparently still exist. I also shot Krizz Kaliko who has been at the Gathering a bunch. He’s on TechN9ne’s record label Strange Music which is a label that juggalos to tattoo to themselves. Penultimately I photographed a short set from the Sugarhill Gang. I think they only have one original member and they only did three songs but it was still amazing. So glad I saw that. 

Finally ICP did their second space themed set. I threw on a poncho and another poncho for my camera and did what I could to get some decent shots. I have photographed ICP like 20 times and I am not sure I have ever taken a photo of them that I love. It’s just really hard to shoot a backlit band that throws sticky liquid at you the entire time, but we do what we can. After the three songs we were allowed to shoot I threw away the rain gear and shot some of the crowd and then decided it would be a good idea to photograph the “Faygo Armageddon”. During their last song they bring tons of people on stage to throw the rest of the remaining Faygo into the crowd. I’ve actually done it twice and it’s one of the most fun things I have ever done. Unfortunately I had thrown away my rain gear and I got soaked in the process. I ran into a juggalo at my hotel that night and he told me he saw me get destroyed and keep going back. Luckily they ended up being some of my favorite band shots of the Gathering so I guess it was worth it. Plus it started raining right after the set so I got a little less sticky (and a little more wet).

And that ends another Gathering of the Juggalos. I hope you enjoyed the ride. I am sure we will do it again next year, and hopefully by then I will be a little closer to my juggalo book…

Now click here to see all the photos from the musical acts of the 2023 Gathering of the Juggalos in Thornville, OH.

Insane Clown Posse

Riff Raff @ The Gathering Of The Juggalos

Mac Sabbath

Ouija Macc

Whitney Peyton

Kottonmouth Kings

Insane Clown Posse



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