The last eleven festivals all steeped in the underground rap aesthetic have seen everything from riots to helicopters, with performances by artists ranging from the proudly foul horror rap roster of Psychopathic Records to past chart toppers like Vanilla Ice and Ice Cube. The annual Gathering of the Juggalos horror rap music festival has inarguably carved out a unique spot for itself among music festivals around the globe, but its been a long and crazy ride.
Aptly described by Violent J as an annually recurring Juggalo Woodstock, the festival typically features music in the broad vein of underground rap and Rock, though the micro-genre of horror rap fills most of the bill. The horror rap festivals activities span beyond music as well, as it also features wrestling, autograph signings, seminars with the artists, wet T-Shirt contests, enormous bonfires, late night parties and more events catered to fans of underground rap.
Humble Beginnings for Horror Rap Festivalgoers
In 2000, the long-discussed concept of arranging an annual get together for all Horror rap and Juggalo wrestling enthusiasts came to fruition. A modest (by todays standards) 7,000 underground rap fans attended the very first Gathering of the Juggalos, but that doesnt mean it was a calm affair by any stretch of the imagination.
After 300 Juggalos responded to Insane Clown Posses request to join them on stage, the venues management was forced to intervene, ending the night prematurely. Such raucous behavior would become commonplace for all Gathering of the Juggalos horror rap music festivals to come, like in 2002 when so many fans rushed the stage that it neared collapse.
Juggalo Horror Rap Standards
Its no secret that artists who fail to impress the collective horror rap enthusiasts and general Juggalo faithful will face repercussions that range from suffocating boos to physical harassment, but did you know this practice has its roots in 2003s lineup? Thats the year rapper non-underground rap artist Bubba Sparxxx was booed off stage in what was to be the first of many artist-Juggalo confrontations. Its said that the artist to receive the most boos every year is dubbed the Bubba Sparxxx award.
Gathering of the Juggalos Underground Rap Festival Growth
Throughout the mid 2000s, Gathering of the Juggalos and the publics penchant for Horror Rap and underground rap continued to expand, and eventually festival goers were greeted with a host of sideshows like seminars with the artists, Ms. Juggalette and wet T-shirt competitions, and wrestling schools (not to mention mud, oil, and flashlight wrestling matches hosted by Juggalo Championship Wrestling).
In that span of time, the horror rap and underground rap festival has exploded, with an estimated attendance of 20,000 at the 10th annual festival in 2009. This years festival promises to deliver good times for fans of underground rap once again.