ICP Shows Laudable Concern For Fans
It's a bummer to have to report on all the stuff that's getting postponed, which is why it brings us no joy to add this to the sadness pile:
The annual Gathering of the Juggalos is canceled until 2021 due to the coronavirus. While that shouldn't surprise anyone at this point, it's worth talking about what this does to the Juggalos. For the unfamiliar, the Juggalos are a group of people united in their love for the band Insane Clown Posse and discount soda. Over the years, and in response to the FBI's unfair gang designation, they've taken a Fast & Furious "It's all about family" approach in describing their group.
ICP, for context, are the "Magnets? How do they work?" guys.
This isn't, and shouldn't be reflective of what Juggalos are. The gang label from the FBI is pretty BS, and just about every dive into their culture has shown them to be nothing to get worked up about. If anything, it's admirable a group confused by the concept of magnets is showing more dedication in listening to science than some of our politicians.
This festival is quite a big deal to the Juggalo community. They don't waste time trying to bring it to New York or Los Angeles, instead choosing the Midwest as its hosting grounds like a trailer park Coachella (Not an insult BTW). That makes it even more impressive that The Gathering has been able to land some of the performers it has over the years (Ice Cube ain't cheap.).
But what really sells the Gathering, is the annual half-hour infomercials. Check out 2020's ad, complete with Marvel Studios-style intro.
It tells the story of some teenagers working a "bitch-ass summer job," for a jerk boss when ICP appears as superheroes in a cloud of smoke (Shockingly not originating from weed.). We're given a bunch of the artists that would have performed, including ... Gilbert Gottfried? Continuing the story, they bust a couple of guys out of prison so they can attend. They list off more performers, then save a couple of teenagers from bullies in an alley like Falcors in face paint (They give them Gathering tickets too.). We then conclude with ICP listing off the last of the performers and activities. And now, it's all been canceled.
What's of note here is that Juggalos tend to be blue-collar (or no collar) workers. The same type of people you may have noticed getting crapped on extra hard by current events. So while we really couldn't give a shit about some rich silicon valley douche missing out on this year's Burning Man, this kind of hits a little different.
The Gathering of the Juggalos is an independent event -- they don't have corporate sponsors telling them that they have to cancel anything. It seems like they're genuinely doing this out of love for their Juggalo family. The tweet from ICP leaves us with a final uplifting message from Fred Fury, "You can't replace what you mean to our team. Without you, tell me where the fuck we'd be?"