A Gang Of Juggalos

A controversial festival that descended upon a small town in Southern Illinois last summer was given a free pass to return to the region this year for a repeat.

The "Gathering of the Juggalos," a concert for the clown makeup-wearing fans of Detroit rap-metal act Insane Clown Posse, certainly generated a lot of worries its first year in Cave-In-Rock, Ill., but officials were apparently happy to invite the fest back August 7-10.

Last year’s gathering reportedly drew as many as 7,000 fans, which outnumbered the nearly 5,000 residents of Hardin County and had local authorities fearing violence.

"There were probably 15 to 20 officers during the evening hours and then probably 10 officers on during daytime," Hardin County Sheriff Tom Seiner told WSIL TV, explaining that while dozens of drug arrests were made, the Juggalos generally obeyed the law.

And for some local businesses, last year’s ICP concert provided some serious cash.

"They were nice kids from all over the world," a shopkeeper told the Southern Illinoisian. "They spent a lot of money here, and we can use all the business we can get."

In other parts of the country, however, it appears the Juggalos have been living up to their notoriously rowdy reps.

In Estell Manor, N.J., the roadside memorial of a teen who was killed in a hit-and-run accident has recently become a gathering place for friends who’ve decorated the site with ICP icons, according to the Press of Atlantic City. The teens reportedly don skull masks and lie down in the middle of the street wearing all black at night.

Public safety officials in Arizona recently classified select sects of the Juggalos as criminal street gangs after one Mesa member was fatally shot during a drug deal.

Finally, two men in Kearns, Utah, reportedly affiliated with the Juggalos were recently arrested after attacking a 17-year-old boy with a medieval battle ax, the Deseret News reported.

Police apparently linked the men to the scene of the crime after finding a "hatchet man" necklace associated with the Juggalos and a similar bumper sticker on one of the attacker’s cars.