Detroit News Revisits the 1st Annual Gathering of the Juggalos with HUGE Article!

Today, July 21st, 2020, marks the 20th anniversary of Day 1 of the very first Gathering of the Juggalos!  I know that I’ve said it before, but the first Gathering was new to EVERYBODY, artists included! So despite it only being 1-1/2 days long, and with a timeline that pales in comparison to even a single day of any recent Gathering…this one will always hold a special place in the hearts of Juggalos and Juggalettes who attended.

Last week, Adam Graham of the Detroit News contacted several artists, journalists, and Juggalos who were in attendance that weekend in Novi, Michigan.  He compiled it into a HUGE article, complete with commentary from:

  • Violent J
  • Shaggy 2 Dope
  • Rob “Jumpsteady” Bruce
  • Mike E. Clark
  • Jamie Madrox
  • Blaze Ya Dead Homie
  • George Vlahakis
  • Vinnie “The ICP Kid”

He also spoke to me about my experience there, and despite a few bones that happened before the Gathering even started, I hold that weekend as one of my favorite Juggalo-related events ever!

Now, let’s get to the article.  Maybe you’ve been to most of the Gatherings, but never got to attend an indoor one! Maybe you’re a new Juggalo and want to get a little history lesson.  Or maybe you haven’t been fortunate enough to make it to ANY of the past 20 Gatherings.  Whatever the case, you should definitely check this article out!

Here’s an excerpt from it.


It was summer 2000, and Detroit’s music scene was scorching.

Eminem, the biggest pop star in the world, was riding high following the release of his “Marshall Mathers LP.” Newly minted superstar Kid Rock had just released his “History of Rock” compilation and had several times over fulfilled his “Devil Without a Cause” promise of going platinum. The White Stripes were playing small clubs in the Cass Corridor and were a year away from their national breakthrough. And Hart Plaza had just hosted the first Detroit Electronic Music Festival, a massive honorarium of the city’s rich history as the birthplace of techno music.

Meanwhile, out in Novi, a small piece of rock history was getting ready to take root.

Notorious Detroit rap duo Insane Clown Posse was prepping to host its first Gathering of the Juggalos, a two-day celebration of the duo’s music, fans and the mystique surrounding its Dark Carnival.

Nobody was quite sure what to expect from the event, not even ICP themselves. It was part convention, part concert, and it featured sets by ICP, Twiztid and other artists on the Psychopathic Records roster, along with autograph sessions, seminars, wrestling, tattooing, a haunted house, video games, contests, an ICP memorabilia museum and more.

“It’s a pioneering moment, not just throughout the history of rap, but throughout the history of music.” That’s what ICP’s manager, Alex Abbiss, told The Detroit News at the time, and if it sounded like hyperbole then, over time the Gathering of the Juggalos lived up to that lofty billing, becoming infamous and even pioneering on the American festival landscape. And the fact that it’s still going strong 20 years after the fact speaks to the strength of what took hold at that first Gathering. (The 2020 GOTJ wascanceled due to COVID-19, but otherwise the fest has never missed a summer.)

Following that initial fest, which drew an estimated 7,000 fans to the Novi Expo Center on July 21-22, the Gathering would eventually evolve into an outdoor fest known for its lawlessness and wild infomercials that would go on to be parodied on “SNL.” It has never returned to Metro Detroit.

But that first Gathering remains magical in the eyes of those who experienced it, save for maybe the management team at the Novi Expo Center, who after the event is said to have handed ICP a lifetime ban. (Multiple attempts by The News to reach management for the Expo Center, which later became the Suburban Collection Showplace, were unreturned.)

It was two days of Faygo-soaked madness, raised middle fingers and unabashed clown love. This is an oral history of the first Gathering of the Juggalos, told by those who were there.

That’s not even CLOSE to the full article! Click this link to view it in its entirety:

There’s also 50+ photos from the very first Gathering which you can see by clicking the pic below.

Click to view the Juggalo Gathering 2000 Photo Gallery

I hope you ninjas enjoyed this article as much as I did!

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