The city council and business owners of Ft. Myers, Florida, and probably every city in America, would love it if more people would visit their city’s wonderful downtown area and spent more money. Concerts are usually a great way to promote local tourism and get people to spend money, and it doesn’t hurt when it’s a popular, wholesome band like those Hanson boys or REO Speedwagon, but when the band in question has fans that have been identified as a gang by the FBI, plenty of eyebrows will be raised and monocles shattered. That’s the situation for the people of Ft. Myers right now, as they prepare for an Insane Clown Posse show at the Harborside Event Center on October 8.
Since the ICP lost its lawsuit against the FBI and Justice Department earlier this summer, that gang label is sticking to Juggalo Nation, and that has Ft. Myers business owners worried about increases in violence and crime. According to concert promoter Regan St. Peter, though, Juggalos are older and more mature than people are giving them credit for.
Concert promoter Regan St. Peter denies any gang affiliation, and said though the band had some problems in the past, their fans have grown older and have matured.
“There’s not anymore problems with their concerts than any other concert,” said St. Peter. “The Insane Clown Posse has been around for a very long time. You’re going to see probably the average in this crowd is about 35.”
“There are going to be a lot of people who are going to feel really silly when this event goes off without a hitch,” St.Peter said. (Via NBC 2)
At least one business owner interviewed by the NBC affiliate believed in giving the benefit of the doubt to the 3,000 or so Juggalos expected for the show. “Hopefully they come downtown, spend a lot of money, everybody wins,” said Gary Ingole of Downtown Bagel, who should probably get on the horn with his local Faygo distributor if he wants that theory to come true.