Every year, 10,000 members of the Juggalo diaspora embark on a mass pilgrimage to Insane Clown Posse’s annual Gathering of the Juggalos festival, and the band's fandom has a zeal that's undeterred by the event’s frequent location change. This year, it was supposed to take place at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garrettsville, Ohio, but thanks to the coronavirus, the clowns are without a circus.
Previous incarnations of the festival have taken place in other podunk towns not exactly known for their cultural vibrance, including Novi, Michigan, and the unincorporated Springville, Indiana. The Juggalo version of Woodstock even took place in Oklahoma City in 2017, but never in the event’s two-decade history has it ever taken place in Texas.
This needs to change. More specifically, next year’s Gathering of the Juggalos festival should take place in North Texas. We'd like to remind Insane Clown Posse that our small towns may be on the periphery of the very cosmopolitan Dallas-Fort Worth, but they are dab-smack in the middle of Podunk, USA. Some would even say, that they're the podunkiest.
We don’t know who exactly makes this decision, but we’d like to think they have a Google alert for “Gathering of the Juggalos,” so consider this a pitch for why DFW would be primo grounds for the event.
First off, we’re a significant hotbed for Juggalo culture. No, we’re not Detroit, but Vanilla Ice is from here, and he's performed at the festival nine times. Dallas rapper Claas has played it seven times. We clearly have our share of artists who have traversed through and through to play the affair. Wouldn’t it be great to reward that tenacity with a local appearance?
This says nothing, either, about the other DFW artists who have played the Gathering over the years, such as Drowning Pool and Astronautalis, or the locals who are overdue for an inaugural appearance, like Mr. Pookie.
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It seems like the Gathering thrives on giving one-horse towns a festival presence, and North Texas is filled to the brim with backwoods farming communities. Hell, a 2016 study found that the farming presence in North Texas increased by 10% from 2007 to 2012. Many of these agricultural communities are just a stone’s throw away from more urbanized cities with the infrastructure to accommodate the influx of festivalgoers, yet they feel so far away.
North Texas would also serve as a good focal point for the rural South. DFW alone has over 7 million people, but imagine the accessibility the Gathering could achieve in being rooted closer to people from other parts of Texas and nearby states such as Oklahoma (where the festival took place in 2017) and Louisiana. Makes perfect sense from where we’re standing.
Before hubristic readers gawk at this suggestion, just bear in mind that with the lockdown protests in Dealey Plaza and in Frisco, we already have clowns gathering en masse. The least we could do is bring clowns who know how infectious diseases work: