The 2015 Gathering Of The Juggalos is in the books. What an amazing experience it was. Before I get onto my final thoughts, let me go over Saturday for y’all. Saturday wasn’t as busy for me as the rest of the week has been. I was very happy for that. I felt like dead man walking all day. Hell, I still do and I’m laying comfortably in my own bed as I type this.
As I’ve started every day this week, I went to check out JCW Tryouts. What started out with 35 students, ended with just the few you see pictured here with Mad Man Pondo and Ring Ryda Red. This was the final tryout/seminar before their big battle royal at BloodyMania. It was truly a pleasure watching these guys, and girls while they were there learn a craft that I have enjoyed watching since I was little. I really wish I could have participated in this. It would have been a blast. I want to thank the homie Kevin Gill for allowing me such close access to the JCW tryouts this week.
I was kind of lost for things to do after try outs ended. They ended a bit early yesterday, and I couldn’t find the two other events I was planning on covering following tryouts, so I decided to hit up the Miss Juggalette pageant before heading over to shoot AMB‘s set. The Miss Juggalette pageant has really toned down over the last few years as part of the “Lettes Respect” movement. I’ve heard many stories of years past, and this was opposite of many of them. It was for the MOST part classy, although there were a few remnants of years past in it. We’ll get to more on that later when we have pictures ready from it.
It was now time for the Big Top stage to pop off. AMB started the night off. With that “family”, I used quotes on purpose there started throwing CO2 cartridges on stage. However, much respect to Bones and Young Wicked, they brushed it off and completed their set. It lasted about a half hour then it was time for Rittz to take the stage. I first saw Rittz a few years ago in Kokomo, Indiana. He had a stellar set then, and he has only gotten better in the time since. I am a fan of his, and as always, his set at the Gathering Of The Juggalos did not disappoint. Rittz has a bright future in the rap game.
Mushroomhead was up next to bring the heavy. Mushroomhead has had a mutual love with the juggalo family for a long time. Mushroomhead has a lot to take in during their sets. It’s loud and the music is heavy. That’s how I love my shows. They were a nice change of pace on the Big Top stage tonight.
Following Mushroomhead was Waka Flaka Flame. While I admit, I am not a fan of his music, he did earn my respect and the respect of the juggalo family last night. He took the stage and got pelted with whatever could be thrown. Instead of bitching out as other artists have in the past he stood up with middle fingers in the air, then took the show to the crowd. Over the course of his set, this won over the respect of the juggalos.
After WFF was Machine Gun Kelly. You either love MGK or ya hate him. There generally isn’t an in between with him that I’ve seen. However, you can’t deny that his shows are intense. Balls to the wall from beginning to end. Sadly I didn’t catch much of his set. I shot photos for the first 3 songs and then had to head back to the RV to prepare to shoot ICP’s set.
Shooting ICP‘s set is an experience I was looking forward to since learning that I was going to be going to the gathering this year. After a change of clothes, and preparing the cameras for faygo, it was time to head back to the Big Top stage for the headlining set of the Gathering Of The Juggalos. I don’t think you can simply watch an ICP, it’s an experience. Especially if you get VIP, or stand in the first few rows. Those of you who follow us on twitter and periscope had the opportunity to catch some of this set via periscope(might wanna give us a follow on those platforms if ya haven’t yet…). During Let’s Go All The Way Menace and I went back stage with the other All Star Experience participants to put on some clown costumes for clownpocolypse(I think it was called). Despite being told many times to not grab the faygo this time around, the faygo started spraying. Did they really think these ninjas would listen to that rule. After going off stage from that, we quickly got out of costume for Faygo Armageddon!
Bloodymania and the Deadly Medley followed up ICP, but those will be covered in separate articles later.
Let’s fast forward to this morning. Great sadness followed the pure joy I had the night before. Today(Sunday) was load out day. Everybody had to be off property by 1pm. Outside of a pillow and blanket, I only packed 2 bags, a cooler and a chair. So packing was easy for me. The downside to this, I watched all the juggalos leave one by one. Throughout the entire week, there was magic in the air. Like I’ve said many times this was my first Gathering Of The Juggalos. So this is the first time I got to witness and feel this magic. I don’t know how else to describe it other than magic. Another cliche would be “electricity in the air”, however I don’t think that describes it accurately at all. The Gathering Of The Juggalos really is home. Like any family, there are asshats you have to deal with from time to time. However, the love that you get from everybody…I’m struggling to put words to it.
However, when it’s all said and done, Juggalos slowly start leaving. As each ninjas leaves, that magic slowly dissipates. The pure joy turns to sadness. We go from Shang-Ri La to reality. I was overcome with emotion, several juggalos could be seen in tears, myself included. However with this sadness comes anticipation and eventual pure joy. It is a cycle. As the Gathering Of The Juggalos 2015 has ended, the countdown to 2016 begins. I want to give a shout out to every ninjas I met and kicked it with: Violent Dan, Blake, Menace, Violent Ed, Brandy, Tall girl…I mean Sunshine, Brandy, Stanton, and many others whose names I sadly forgot(I suck with names) With each GOTJ new friendships are forged, and may they last a life time. In the past 4 days, I got to personally thank Madchild, and ICP for saving my life with their music. I got to photograph their performances. With ICP, I got to participate in their performance. I got to shoot photographs of some of my favorite artists. This week was something I will forever cherish and never forget. Menace, Psychopathic Records and everyone involved. I can’t thank you enough for all of this. It was truly a dream come true. Until next year fam, much clown love. WHOOP WHOOP!