Is it a coincidence that not even a year after our own Vince Mancini visited the Gathering of the Juggalos and filmed a documentary of his trip with his ragtag group of Juggahos the festival is being moved to another state? Probably. But whether Whoop Dreams has anything to do with the festival’s departure from Cave-In-Rock, Illinois is a moot point, because it’s already a done deal. So which lucky city in which lucky state will benefit from this move? Start brewing your Faygo daiquiris, people of Kaiser, Missouri, because the Gathering is coming to the CryBaby Campground this year.
According to Billboard, the 300-acre farm at CryBaby is perfect for the Gathering, and the event’s organizers are promising something huge for this year’s 15th anniversary weekend to make up for the inconvenience. And while the people of southern Illinois are probably pretty happy to be rid of the chaos, it doesn’t seem like the folks in Miller County know what’s coming.
The gathering was a recurring headache for Hardin County Sheriff Jerry Fricker, given the overtime his Illinois department was forced to shell out for deputies to monitor and control the crowds. Fricker has said it also was a drain on the ambulance service and the county’s small hospital. He said Juggalos often didn’t carrying identification or they gave the medical staff aliases so they couldn’t be billed for treatment.
Bill Abbott, the sheriff of Miller County where the CryBaby Campground is located, said he has heard the Juggalos “do a lot of drugs, fighting, stealing.” But he brushed off worries that the event bound for his turf, where the motorcycle club Hell’s Angels have convened twice before, might be a burden. (Via Billboard)
If this isn’t the plot of a zany horror movie by next year, then someone in Hollywood isn’t doing his job. But if you’re sitting there thinking that Abbott is the stereotypical small town, old-timey sheriff… you’re 100 percent correct.
“If you’re looking for trouble, you’ll find trouble. We don’t want no trouble here whatsoever, and I’m sure they don’t, either,” Abbott said. “We want them to obey the laws and have a good time.”
Abbott may have some homework to do. He asked this reporter if the festival would feature Willie Nelson-style music.
“I’d like to meet the main man (organizing the festival) and talk to him,” he said.
And I, good sir, would like to be there for that meeting. I imagine it would involve a rocking chair, a stern look, a warning to behave, a thick stream of tabacky juice being spit on the ground and a mild growl. Give or take a grizzled, white mustache. Basically, I’m picturing Sam Elliott.
(Banner via Getty)