November 12, 2019
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Jules’ Gathering of the Juggalos 2014 report

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Much like almost every Gathering veteran, the news that the Gathering of the Juggalos was leaving our beloved Shangri-La of Hogrock both saddened me and made me nervous. All good things must come to an end at some point, I guess. But would our new home in Ohio be as nice as our previous one? Would it still feel like our home away from home? Would we be safe to unabashedly be ourselves the way we had for so many years in Cave-in-Rock?

Despite the change of venue (from Missouri to Ohio) and change of dates (from August to July), I managed to get everything in order to be able to check out our new home for myself. My local friends Izzy and Jamie were going to be riding with me, and a host of other people were going to be there to camp with us and hang out. Gathering friends Justin, Denton, Eric and Rob were all planning on being there, as well as a bunch of other familiar faces from previous years. I was SUPER excited to see all of my friends again, all in one place, and just get some time to relax and chill with them.

 

 

Tuesday, July 22nd

On Tuesday morning, almost everything we were taking was stacked in my dining room, ready to go. Over the past year, I treated myself with the purchase of a solid black Chevy Silverado, so I was very excited to take my new truck to the Gathering! Izzy arrived at my house around 8:30am, and we organized all of our stuff into the bed of the truck as best we could. It was HOT outside, even for that early in the morning, so we were both sweaty messes in no time! Jamie was late, arriving around 9:45am, but luckily we had pretty much everything ready to go when he got there. We threw his stuff in the truck, strapped down the tarp over the bed, and headed off to Kroger.

On the way to Kroger, part of the tarp was starting to come undone, and we hadn’t even hit 40mph yet!

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Mmm…lunch meat…

Inside, we grabbed some last minute grocery things, then got some ice and dry ice for the coolers. After repacking the coolers, we made a quick stop for drinks, then hit the highway. Well, before I even made it one exit up the highway, the tarp was totally disintegrating! The black cord on the edge was coming out, and the eyelets were all pulling out of the tarp. D’oh! So we pulled off and stopped at our brand new Walmart. I picked up a bigger, heavy-dutier silver tarp and a 24 pack of bungee cords, and luckily that did the trick. Izzy worked her magic and made it cover everything securely, so we were able to finally get on the road.

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Finally getting on the road!

After passing through Louisville, we decided to stop for lunch. I wanted Subway, but once we found the Subway, we saw that it shared a building with a Little Ceasars! We’re all broke scrubs, so we decided to get some cheap pizza! I still jumped next door and bought a foot long sub to get me through the first day of the GOTJ, then headed back to Little Ceasars. They didn’t have any tables, so we eventually ended up just eating our pizza right there on the counter!

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After I had one piece down, we decided to keep driving, and Izzy fed me the rest of my pizza as I drove haha We also ended up with a free two liter of orange soda, which isn’t the easiest thing to drink when you’re driving and you don’t have any cups! haha

Jamie, being silly in the back seat

Jamie, being silly in the back seat

 

What are you doing to my poor truck?? haha

What are you doing to my poor truck?? haha

We were almost to Columbus when I stopped for gas (despite having a full load of stuff in the back, and three people in the cab, I still got about 18mpg, which was pretty good). With the tank full, we drove on to Thornville, and found Legend Valley Concert Venue very easily! It was definitely a different kind of feeling, to be exiting off of the highway and having our new home RIGHT THERE. Part of me thought it was great because it was super easy to find, and civilization was literally right outside the gate. But there was definitely something to be said for the remoteness of Hogrock. Traveling to Hogrock felt like more of a pilgrimage…a long drive into the middle of nowhere, and once you get there, you find Shangri-La! This place definitely lacked that vibe. But the Legend Valley location definitely has its perks as well, so overall, I was fine with the location.

As we filed in, I was directed down an aisle, and was told to go waaaaaaay to the end. Well forget that. I ended up starting a new row, so I was parked at the very edge of the aisle, which seemed like a very convenient spot for when I needed to move.

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Once I was parked, the first thing I wanted to do was find Denton and say hi, then find Scottie and his crew. Denton was in an even more convenient spot than I was, since he had arrived quite a few hours before us. I gave him a hug, then found that he was parked next to Eric and Rob from Florida! It was so great to see them again! They missed the Gathering last year, so I was super excited to get to hang with them again since they were so fun in 2012! I also met their friend Jake, who made the trip up with Denton.

After a little while of catching up, I called Scottie, and he directed me back to where I could find their trailer. I found Scottie just where he said he’d be, along with Scott, who was another new friend from last year. We hung around and caught up for a while, but then decided to go check out what we needed to do to get our amulets. There was a lot of confusion about which line we needed to wait in, but ultimately we decided that the longer line was the one we needed.

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The sun sets on the parking lot party

This line was LONG…but luckily we were all waiting together, so we kept each other entertained as we waited…particularly Eric, who was commanding the whole crowd with his megaphone! It took TWO HOURS for us to get all the way up to the window. The guys in front of us had an issue where they had ordered tickets but they hadn’t arrived, but eventually the guy at the window got it all straightened out. Jamie had no problem redeeming his ticket for an amulet and wristband and when it was my turn, I had no issue getting the amulets and wristbands for me and Izzy either. This year, the wristbands were fabric instead of plastic, which is more durable I guess, but I was able to get mine off pretty easily. Ultimately, they probably didn’t cut down on people sneaking in, but whatever. At the window, I was also told that I needed to wait in an area off to the left of the trailers, and my name would be called so I could get my car pass.

So I stepped over into the waiting area for the car passes…and people were pissed. Like…whew…pissed. It turned out that there was one guy for the whole event who was driving people to their cars on a golf cart, then putting the pass on the windshield himself. And apparently it was taking forever! Denton had been waiting for his pass for a long time (over an hour, I’d bet) and he still hadn’t been called yet. Any time the guy would show up and start calling names, there was a big crowd of pissed off people around him, hoping to be called. Knowing that it was going to take a while to get to me, I decided to walk back to the truck and get my chair and a drink, and wait it out.

I grabbed another piece of pizza, then pulled my chair out of the bed of the truck. I went back to the front and found Izzy again, who by now was sharing a bottle of Fireball with everyone :-) I hunkered down for a while (I’d spent maybe half an hour already just puttering around at the truck), and eventually the car pass guy showed back up. He was apologizing to the crowd, saying that he knew that the car pass system was flawed, and that he was going to start handing out passes to anyone whose vehicles were within walking distance. Basically everyone said that they were within walking distance, so he just started checking IDs and handing out car passes, on the promise that we would go put them on our vehicles right then.


With that handled, I moved my chair over by Denton and Jake, and hung out in that area for the night. We had a lot of fun with Denton’s head on a stick (which Jake and I named Karyn with a Y), and enjoyed some time to just relax and enjoy being there. By about 3:30am, I was hitting a wall and falling asleep in my chair, so I decided to try and get some rest in the truck. I rolled down the window and wedged my pillow between the door and my head, and luckily I was able to get some rest. People were loud, and Izzy and Jamie kept needing into the truck, so it wasn’t solid sleep, but it was better than nothing.

 

 

Wednesday, July 23rd

At 5:30am, Jamie woke me up by saying that the gates were about to open, and that people were driving forward. Knowing the importance of getting your vehicle into a good position, I didn’t waste much time in moving my truck out into the aisle, then up the front aisle, so I was directly behind the area where we had been waiting for our car passes. Awesome…there were only a few cars further forward than I was, which boded really well for a very early entry to the grounds.

By a little after 6:00am, there was a huge crowd of people at the gate who were poised to run in and claim their spots. It was probably around 6:15am when they opened the gates, and the crowd of probably a couple of hundred people flooded into the campground. Shortly after, they started letting cars in, and it started to be a free for all! Luckily, a man at the front was lending some type of organization to it, and stopping people from hitting each other as they went inside! I ended up being within probably the first 20 or so vehicles inside, which was so awesome! Last year, it took four hours to get inside…what a refreshing change haha

I had no idea where I was going once I got inside, but luckily I was able to follow the map on the back of the program and find where I needed to be very easily. We had planned in advance for our friend Kevin to run in and stake space for a big group of us who had all camped together last year. As I arrived at the crossroad just past the merch booth, Kevin was there with a huge spot caution taped off for us all! I drove past it since I didn’t spot him at first, but after jumping out of my truck, I was told to QUICKLY move my truck back to his area so I could grab our camping spots.

I parked my truck near the front of the spot, and we started to unload. The area was filling up fast, and mostly with people that none of us knew, who we hadn’t planned on camping with. Kevin was trying his best to keep his area reserved for the Fruit Loop Forest residents, but it ended up being in vain. There were just too many people all scrambling to find room. After I realized that people were converging on us faster than we could save our space, I took the tarp I’d used on the truck and went across the street to stake out some space for Denton’s camp. He had already made it inside, but when I called him, he was struggling to get his car out of a grassy area he’d pulled into! After a while, he ended up making it out, and he set up camp across the road from me, while leaving the area in the median of the road for Rob and Eric.

With that settled, I went back to my camp and tried to get some stuff organized. I set up my tent, and moved some more of my stuff out of the truck. It was right around this time that security came to our area and stood on the corner, telling people that only people with Balla sites could go past him, and everyone else had to make a sharp U-turn and go the other way. This, of course, meant that almost everyone was having to make this really sharp turn directly next to MY TRUCK. It was person after person after person, coming incredibly close to hitting my truck over and over again! I was a nervous wreck thinking that someone was going to hit it! At one point, I was standing in front of the truck, and a guy came barreling at me. I was screaming at him to stop, and when he finally decided to stop, he was only about three inches away from taking the bumper off of my truck. Then this asshole had the nerve to get mad at me for screaming at him to stop. Like, he was literally going to be perfectly fine with taking out my truck so he wouldn’t have to back up and straighten his car out. After maybe half an hour of being a nervous wreck because so many people were coming so close to my truck, we moved someone else’s tent back temporarily so I could move my truck back away from the road.

With that settled, I finished setting up the stuff in my tent, then Rusty helped me set up the Poop Deck tent. Afterward, I went with Rusty to his camp to help set up his tent, then headed back for a rest at my own site. Kevin and his friends were hard at work trying to put a huge brown tarp over our entire camp, and was actually succeeding at the moment! One guy was in a tree (where there was also a random chair, like a deer stand or something) who was cutting off branches and hanging up one corner, while other folks were working from the ground. It was quite a nice idea, and was going to provide shade for everyone in the area if it worked out! I was really exhausted by this point, so I pulled out my fan and laid down on my mattress to rest for about an hour.

Once I was rested and feeling a little better, I baby wiped off and changed clothes (couldn’t take a shower since the shower lines were enormous), donning the Faygoluvers Meetup Massacre shirt that I’d gotten from Scottie the night before. It was actually a really cool shirt, so I was taking back the fact that I said I probably wouldn’t wear one if he gave me one haha Just before noon, I headed out to find the JCW stage. It was far away…like, I found the pathway to it, and ended up passing two different signs with arrows on them pointing the way. Eventually I found it, waaaay off on the edge of the property, with only two small sets of bleachers. When I arrived, none of the people in the area were with Faygoluvers.

After a couple of minutes, I saw a couple of guys walking my way, wearing the same shirt that I was! One was tall and skinny, and looked just like his avatar, so I knew that he had to be Scruffy! The other guy introduced himself as Piggofdoom, who was also someone I was familiar with from the forums. It was cool to finally meet a couple of the people I’d been BSing with online for so long! haha After a while, Entrappedmind (EM) arrived with his son, who we will call Boxy (a nickname that was well earned…read on!). GanjaGoblin was the last to arrive, and we all ended up hanging around and chatting for a good, long time. Pigg passed around his Moon Mist Blue, and we did a sort of “sip, sip, pass” with it since most of us hadn’t tasted it before. Scottie and Scott drove by on a golf cart at some point, but didn’t have time to stop. We actually ended up hanging around for so long that they drove by a second time, right as we were about to pose for a group photo. So they jumped out and posed with us, then headed off again to take some more video.

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GanjaGoblin, me, PsykoScott, Piggofdoom, Scottie D, Entrappedmind, Scruffy

As the meet wound to a close, Scruffy, Pigg, EM, Boxy and I decided to go visit Rachel and say hello. We walked up the massive hill opposite the lake, which seemed to be the new “Fuck This Hill” of Legend Valley. Of course, it caused Scruffy and I to share stories of the even-more-massive Fuck This Hill at Hogrock, and how it was impossible to climb it without getting exhausted haha. At the top of the hill, we made our way back toward the Bizarro World area, where we found Rachel with an impressive display of her paintings for sale. They were all so beautiful, and she was doing brisk business as we hung out with her!

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Scruffy with some of Rachel’s paintings

EM and Boxy were camped just a little way down the street from where Rachel was posted, so we all hung out at their camp for a while. Scruffy and Pigg were camped elsewhere, but ultimately they both decided to move their stuff and set up camp with EM and Boxy since there was a lot of room leftover, and since it was SO much more convenient. They were in a great area…across from Bizarro World, and at the bottom of the little hill with the gator on a stick food stand. They were also within a stone’s throw of the giant strawberry.

After hanging out for a while, we decided to head to Scottie’s camp and see if we could catch him so EM could get his meet shirt. As we walked, we passed the merch booth, so a few people paused to pick up the new Dark Lotus album. You could also clearly see my camp from there, with the huge brown tarp over it. At one point, a big gust of wind caught the tarp and inflated it, which made it almost look like a huge bouncy house! And people at the merch booth were like “Woah, what’s over there? We need to check it out!” hahaha When we finally arrived at Scottie’s trailer, he was there, so we all hung around for a little while and chatted.

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They make you sexy! No asterisk needed!

After we moved along, we made our way back to EM and Boxy’s camp, which I shall now refer to as Camp FLH. As we walked, I noticed a girl with a huge frozen drink, and it looked sooooo good. I commented to Scruffy that it looked good, and just at that moment, the girl took a drink and made the most refreshed face I’ve ever seen! I was like “Ahhhhh my God…look at how refreshed she is! Ok, I have to have one of those!” We went up to her and asked where she got it, and it ended up being so funny how excited we all were about that drink! She totally sold both me and Scruffy on getting one! So we made our way to the giant strawberry, and we each got a non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri. The largest size was $7, and came with $3 refills if you kept the cup. Yes please! And what made this even more decadent is that the drink was topped with a huge cap of real Dole Whip! Disney World only sells the pineapple version, so it was lovely to get a taste of the strawberry kind in such an unexpected place!

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We took our drinks back to the girl sitting on the hill, and again we all got a great laugh out of how we’d all been suckered in by those delicious drinks! Once we said goodbye to her, we hung out at Camp FLH for a while. Eventually, I asked if people might want to play Hatchets to Hatchets with me (which is my Juggalo themed version of Apples to Apples, or Cards Against Humanity). They said yes, so I briefly went back to camp to grab it, as well as my gummy bear vodka. The tarp that Kevin had been working so feverishly on was gone by this point since the eyelets were all tearing…too bad since they worked so hard on it, and it was going to provide so much shade! :-( Back at Camp FLH, We made it through a good number of the Hatchets to Hatchets cards, and we all got a good laugh out of it (particularly about how we ended up saving the embarrassing cards like “butt plugs” and “masturbation” for the 14 year old of the group hahaha)

As the game wound down, it was time for the main stage acts to start, so I headed back to camp to get ready for the evening. Along the way, I passed the infamous Mike Busey booth, which at that moment had a guy in a wheelchair getting a lap dance from one of the Busey Beauties.

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I thought that was pretty awesome…but later in week, I walked by again and saw a different dude getting a lap dance in the same wheelchair, so obviously neither of them were legitimately handicapped guys. Boooo! But they were having fun with it, so it’s all good. Back at camp, I packed up my camera, batteries and a drink, and went up front to find a spot for the night.

Denton and Karyn, ready for main stage

Denton and Karyn, ready for main stage

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Jake and Rob

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I arrived while Ces Cru was performing, and I was really impressed with their performance! They’ve impressed me a lot recently, so I’m excited to see where their career takes them. As they departed the stage, I sneaked forward as much as I could on the left hand side of the stage, and ended up one person away from the barricade as we waited for Biohazard.

I’m not very familiar with Biohazard, so their set was sort of just filler until we made it to the better stuff. Toward the end of their set, they invited a bunch of people on stage, who all looked like they were having a blast! There was also one topless lady onstage who was going HAM on the other people as they moshed around the stage…and they weren’t going easy on her at all either! haha

Luckily I was already up front when it was time for ABK to perform. I really like ABK, and it’s really rare to ever see him have an off performance. He always brings a lot of energy, and a lot of heart to the stage. I tried to snap some pics of his set so I could send them to Moonshine (who hadn’t been able to make the Gathering this year) but I was never able to get a clear one since he was moving around so quickly. He brought out Big Hoodoo for a while during his set as well, which was fun.

Next up on the roster was everyone’s perennial favorite, Tech N9ne. It had actually been well over a year since I’d seen Tech live, so this was the first time I was really, truly excited to see him at the Gathering! EM and Boxy had found their way up through the crowd and were right behind me through Tech’s set, which was great for them since this was both of their very first times seeing him live! As Tech took the stage, everyone yelled and screamed, and you could tell he was eating it up! Every set of his that I’ve seen has been different, and he always updates his set list with his newest hits. This one was no different, with new hits like Fragile being performed along side old favorites like Am I a Psycho? and Welcome to the Midwest.

Tech’s set seemed to go on forever, taking the better part of two hours if I had to guess. He kept stopping and thanking us, then would sing another song, then thank us again, then sing again…it was a GREAT set, but a very LONG set haha Despite feeling really long, the set was over just shy of midnight, so I had plenty of time to make my way over to the Carousel stage to see Stevie Stone. I made a pit stop by camp for a moment to grab a drink and sit down for a few moments, but I couldn’t linger for very long.

I hadn’t explored the area where the Carousel stage was yet, but luckily it was easy to find, if off the beaten path. Thinking back on my entire Gathering, I did sort of miss having the stages out on the main paths because, in the past, I would end up walking past a stage, seeing something interesting going on, and I would stop for a while. With the layout in Legend Valley, you had to purposely go to the stages to watch the events, which means that I probably missed out on some freshness just because I didn’t make a purposeful effort to see certain acts. It is what it is, and I didn’t even notice that while I was at the Gathering, but I did definitely prefer the layout of the stages at Hogrock, in retrospect.

When I arrived for Stevie Stone, there was a space at the barricade off to the left side, so I politely weaseled my way up there, and was super happy for the good view I was going to have. As I stood there, I realized that I was really, really exhausted. My feet hurt SO bad, and I was crashing pretty hard. But I had both Stevie Stone and Zug Izland to watch, so I soldiered through!

When Stevie Stone arrived on stage, I was reminded of exactly why I like him so much! He looks like he has so much fun when he performs, and he was eating up every bit of the love the crowd was giving him! Among others, he sang Get Buck, 808 Bendin’, Dollar General, Grave Digga and My Remedy, which always seems to be a favorite. I just really love Stevie Stone…he’s a great musician and performer to me :-)

I was crashing really hard by this point, but again, I kept trudging through, with the promise of heading for bed right after Zug Izland was done (the performer after them was Lil Wyte and NO WAY was I going to sit through his set so I could see (hed)PE). As Zug Izland time approached, the first person who came onstage was DJ Clay, which was unexpected but cool I guess. But then Syn and Mike P took the stage, and DJ Clay kept playing through the whole set. Apparently he’s now a member of Zug Izland?? I dunno, but it worked I guess, so I’m ok with it.

Syn is a great performer, and has such a great voice. I’m very glad that I’ve paid attention to them recently, since I had never listened to anything of theirs before the Gathering last year.

As their set wound to a close, I was glad to be finding myself headed for bed! It would have been lovely to have seen (hed)PE, but it just wasn’t in the cards that night. As I made my way back to my tent, I wasted no time in getting changed and getting into bed. I didn’t need my fan, so I just started off with a thin fleece blanket.

Around 5:00am, I woke up FREEZING! It was actually cold inside my tent! Luckily I had brought two blankets (a woven one and a fleece one) so I put the woven blanket on top of the fleece one, curled up, and ultimately found myself warm enough to fall back to sleep.

 

 

Thursday, July 24th

Thanks to both of my snugly blankets, I was able to get a few more warm hours of sleep before rousing myself for the day. It was around 8:30am when I got up and UGH did I need a shower. I felt disgusting, and I needed a shower no matter how long the line was. Before I even left the tent, I packed up my bag with shower necessities and headed out for a shower. The line was pretty long, but the men’s line was easily twice as long as the women’s line! There were only two shower trailers in the whole campground, and each one only had four showers for men and four for women. So each gender had a total of 8 shower stalls total for thousands of people! That’s WAAAAAY too few. Like, they needed three or four sets of showers to adequately keep everyone clean. Hogrock had that huge shower building at the top of the hill that never had a line and was always clean…boy I missed Hogrock right at that moment.

My wait for the shower ended up being almost an hour, in full sun. But once inside, the trailer was very nice. Each shower stall had a dressing room in front of it, and there was plenty of hot water. I took my time in getting ready (it’s hard not to take your time when you have to scrub every inch of yourself because you’re crusted in dust), then made my way back to camp. I got dressed and grabbed the last half of the Subway sub for breakfast, then hung out with Justin, Denton and Jake at their camp. Nate (AKA Swamp Nuts, AKA Box Head) had arrived by this point, and it was great to see him too. He’s so funny, and so fun to hang with.

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After a while of hanging out, a guy came by asking if we wanted to buy his CD. There are lots of folks asking that, so I normally say no since my funds are limited, but this guy said the magic word…PROZAK!  He introduced himself as Justinsayne, and said that he was a friend and protege of Prozak’s. Prozak’s music is pretty much my favorite musical topic of all time, so I promptly talked his ear off about him. Justinsayne then said that he also had copies of A Haunting on Hamilton Street 2: The Stable for sale for $10 since he was featured in that film. I definitely wanted a copy of it, so I bought it from him with the quickness since buying them directly from Prozak is quite a bit more. I also grabbed a copy of his CD, which he was nice enough to sign for me.

As we sat there chatting with each other, he told me all about how he was making his way in the music biz, and how Prozak had given him a lot of support along the way. Suddenly he’s like “Hang on a minute…” and walked away. A minute or two later, he arrived back with a different copy of the Hamilton Street DVD that was autographed by Prozak himself! I thanked him, and he said that he saves those for the people that he can tell are true fans. That I am! So I was so glad that he thought of me and gave me an extra little perk with the DVD.

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Me with Justinsayne

I took a picture with him and promised that I’d do my best to make it to his set on the Pendulum stage the following day. With that, he headed off on his way, and I got ready for the ABK seminar.

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Nate…AKA Box Head

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Ugh, paparazzi…following me everywhere these days!! ;-)

The ABK seminar was something that pretty much the entire group wanted to do this year since we knew that Moonshine wanted us to be there in his place. As time approached, almost our entire group (me, Jamie, Justin, Denton, Eric and Rob) made our way up to the seminar tent for the first time. The seminar tent is in a weird spot…outside the main gate of the grounds, and off to the right, at the front of the parking lot. There were a lot of people there, but we were still able to find space. I ended up sitting on a hay bale near the front, and the rest of the guys sat over on the right hand side of the tent. We’d previously talked about getting Moonshine on Skype on Justin’s phone so he could watch the seminar, so Justin was working on that as ABK took the stage.

ABK never really talks about too much during his seminar, so most of it was joking around and fluff. He talked about his new album and how he can’t get time until the Lotus Pod is vacant. As he talked, Justin had managed to get Moonshine on Skype, so I got his phone, and held it up facing the stage the entire time so he could watch the seminar from the beach he was on. When he got around to taking questions, the fourth question someone asked was “Where’s Moonshine?” haha So he was obviously missed this year!

The seminar eventually turned into an ABK roast, where people like Big Hoodoo, Kegan the Creep Ass, Flagrant, Nukie and lots of other people just got up and made fun of him haha. Lots of lisp jokes, lots of nub jokes, and lots of talk about farting contests between ABK and Kegan!

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Moonshine was watching on Skype the whole time, and I could hear him laughing sometimes through the phone speaker!

As ABK reached the part of the seminar where he was going to play beer pong and party, Eric got on his megaphone and told ABK that Moonshine wanted to talk to him. So I took the phone up to ABK and handed it to him, and ABK talked to Moonshine via Skype! He even held up the microphone to the phone so Moonshine could give a big whoop whoop to the crowd! It was awesome for real, to have him be a part of a Gathering seminar while he was in Florida! After a few exchanges (like ABK saying that he hoped Moonshine got eaten by sharks haha), he handed the phone back to me and proceeded with his beer pong game. I went back to the guys on the edge of the tent, and we all passed around the phone and talked to him for a minute before disconnecting and letting him get back to his beach vacation.

Meanwhile, ABK’s seminar had morphed into the Big Hoodoo seminar when Big Hoodoo took the mic and started telling some stories. We were kind of consumed with talking to Moonshine, so I didn’t pay tons of attention to what he was saying. He talked a lot…a LOT…so after a while I lost interest since they just seemed to be stories about stuff that happened to him in the past. Scottie arrived as he was talking, but had already missed probably half of the seminar since Big Hoodoo had started so early.

I was hungry for a real meal at this point, and Jamie said that he’d go with me to grab some lunch. We stopped at the vendor just up the slope from Camp FLH, and the breakfast burrito caught my eye. They said that they would still make it for me, and it ended up being pretty much a tortilla with a little of everything inside it! It had eggs, potatoes, peppers, rice, beans, cheese and Dorito mac and cheese inside! When Jamie saw mine, he said he wanted the same thing, but he wanted the meat inside his. So his had pretty much everything mine had, plus chicken, shrimp, hot peppers and all kinds of everything else! She pretty much just went down the row and threw in a little scoop of everything they were cooking! Both “burritos” were so stuffed that they didn’t come close to closing, so it was kind of just a big pile of deliciousness on top of a tortilla!

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Jamie is in awe of his massive burrito

With our giant “burritos” in hand, Jamie and I headed back to the seminar tent. When we arrived, Big Hoodoo had just dismissed everyone from his seminar, but lots of people were still milling around. For a while, my Faygoluvers group of friends were mingling with my other Gathering friends, which was fun :-) Once lunch was down the hatch, we started to disperse and go our own ways for a while.

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Jamie spots his long lost twin!!

Jamie and I started walking back toward camp when I spotted Syn at the giant strawberry. He was talking to a guy, and was splashing him with water from a water bottle, almost in a baptizing kind of way.

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I stopped and watched for a second, and he was saying all kinds of uplifting stuff to the guy as he splashed him…it was so weird but so cool. Once the guy was totally drenched, they shared a hug, and the guy went on his way. Random!

Once Syn had picked up his frozen drink from the strawberry (what can I say, the man has good taste!) I stopped him briefly to tell him how much I loved his music. Last year, he and Mike P. stopped by my camp when I had the mailbox at my site, but I hadn’t really listened to much of their music. But within the last year, I’ve listened and really grown to love the music Zug Izland makes, so I wanted to tell him thank you. He almost immediately asked me what my favorite song was, and I said “Always.” And he started to sing it to me! Ahhh! I sang along with him for a while, and it was such an awesome moment! I mean, who gets serenaded by an artist they like?? It was great. After a verse, he gave me a hug, and I gave him my well wishes for a good Gathering.

As I walked away, I saw the guy who Syn had been pouring the water on, and stopped him to ask what was going on. He said that he was playing Morton’s List, and that his task was to get completely soaked by someone else. How he ended up getting Syn to soak him down, I don’t know, but he has a pretty cool story to tell about it! I finished my trek back to camp, utilized the Poop Deck, and got ready for main stage. Scottie had a couple of my camera batteries, so I stopped by and picked them up, then found myself a cozy spot on the left side of the stage. Almost as soon as I stopped, EM and Boxy popped up over my shoulder, swearing that they weren’t stalking me haha. That night’s Dark Lotus performance was going to be a first for both of them as well, so again I was glad that they got good spots so they could have a good view.

The first performer of the night was Whitney Peyton, who is a repeat performer from last year. I think I’m going to give my “most improved performance” award to Whitney this year since she freaking KILLED IT during her performance! Last year she seemed a little tentative with such a big crowd, but there was definitely none of that this year. She owned the stage perfectly, and every song was on point. Toward the end of the set, she said that she wanted to go crowd surfing in her dinosaur shaped pool float. So she put the float in the audience, then jumped on top of the crowd and they surfed her up inside the float. She floated around for maybe half the song, then she unceremoniously got dumped right out of the raft and onto the crowd haha. But she’s so tiny that it was no problem for the crowd to pick her up and put her back inside the float! At the end of the song, they surfed her back to the stage, and she said that she’d never had a crowd drop her then put her back inside the float before! Her set was great, and easily one of my favorites from the year. Kudos to her for stepping up her game big time.

After Whitney Peyton, Big Hoodoo took the stage for the second time in his career. I like Big Hoodoo, and I have a good feeling that we’ll see some good stuff coming from him in the future. His set was alright, but I think the setup of the stage threw him off his game. He had columns on the stage, which were draped with black fabric and skulls, that formed a semi circle around a relatively small area of the stage. So through his set, he only remained inside this semi circle of columns, which appeared to be penning him in and not letting him move freely about the stage. If they had lined the columns up across the back, or even made a much wider semi circle, I think he would have been able to involve more of the crowd. His performance was good, but I have faith that we can see better performances out of him in the future.

So next up was Cannibal Corpse. I’ve never been a death metal fan, so aside from being familiar with their name, I wasn’t familiar with their music or live shows at all. I knew ahead of time that they had gotten some pretty bad backlash from their fans for agreeing to play at the Gathering, so I was hopeful that their set would go over well. Almost the second they came onstage, the crowd went crazy and a giant pit formed in the middle of the crowd! The guys in the band all had long hair that swung erratically as they banged their heads nearly continuously through the set.

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With every song, the pit would go wild, and at some point, a green shopping cart was thrown into the pit! I saw one dude get picked up and body slammed into that shopping cart at one point, and it stayed in there through the whole set! Watching the pit was honestly the most fun part of this set! Though there was a moment when the lead singer said something about challenging the crowd to keep up with his speed of head banging, then growled “YOU…WILL…FAIL!” When the song started, this dude started whipping his head around so fast that it looked like he was moving in fast forward! I don’t see how he can head bang *so* fast, but that explains why his neck is bigger than a line backer’s! haha Toward the end of the set, we saw Scottie charge his way into the mosh pit with his GoPro on his head. He looked like he was having so much fun!

As night fell and Cannibal Corpse ended their resoundingly successful set, it was time for Yelawolf to take the stage. Yelawolf lives in Nashville, so I’ve been to a fair number of his shows in small local venues, but had never seen him on a large, outdoor stage before. When he started his set, it was pretty much what I would expect for a Yelawolf set. He’s really interesting to watch, and covers the footprint of the stage really well to engage the crowd.

People in the crowd were setting off fireworks during his set, and aiming them so they would explode onstage. So at one point, Yelawolf paused and said that he bet that no one could hit him with a bottle rocket! Oh man, that was the WRONG thing to say to a big crowd of Juggalos armed with explosives! The bottle rockets starting coming closer to him, though he never got directly hit with one. There was even one point where some kind of firecracker that pops a bunch of times landed on the stage, and he jumped right in the middle of it and kept on rapping! haha Boss! The most ironic part of the set came when he asked the crowd to do a death wall. Doesn’t that seem like something Cannibal Corpse would have done?? It was a pretty weak death wall, I must say, but I give him credit for trying. Overall his set was very solid, but I think I prefer to see him in a small venue where the stage isn’t so big.

After Yelawolf, it was finally time for Dark Lotus! EM was still behind me, while Boxy had managed to get himself to the barricade just one person away from me. The set started without tons of fanfare, but very quickly turned into an amazing Dark Lotus set!

Everything was as it should be…Madrox and Shaggy were all over the stage…Blaze and Monoxide were as intense as usual…J was bopping in place, as he is apt to do these days…

…but then the stage went dark and the sound went out! The guys on stage kept on going, hoping that it was just a temporary glitch, I assume. But the outage went on and on, through all of Corrosion, and into The Walls. It blinked back on for a while during The Walls, but went right back off again. Monoxide kept coming back over to my side of the stage and making frustrated gestures at the microphone, shrugging and kind of laughing at the catastrophic nature of the failure. They made it almost the entire way through Headache in the dark with no sound, with the crowd chanting “Fix that shit! Fix that shit!” before everything finally started working again. Luckily they were able to finish out the set with full audio and lighting for Juggalo Family, but the damage had already been done.

As they finished up the set, it just didn’t feel the same as the previous three performances I’d seen. The crowd was into it, but there was no grand, extended chanting of “LOTUS!” at the end like there had been in previous years. There was no real interaction of the guys on stage as the set ended, and they kinda just left the stage as unceremoniously as they had arrived. The crowd dispersed rather quickly…not surprisingly since most of them couldn’t hear a good chunk of the show. It was definitely a disappointing Dark Lotus set, particularly since this year’s Gathering was focused on the release of the new Dark Lotus album. It would have been nice had there been some type of encore, or a few extra songs tacked onto the end…but no. :-/

For the rest of the night, the only performances on the agenda for me were definitely Rydas, and probably Scum if I could catch him. I went back to camp for a while to sit down and rest, and at a little after 1:00am, I jumped behind the tree line and made my way to the Pendulum stage.

Scum had already started by the time I got there, but I ended up catching most of the set. This was my second time seeing him, and I really like him a lot! He’s very entertaining, and very expressive as he raps. The sound was going crazy for his set as well, and after almost every song, he walked over and talked to the sound guy. He said that it sounded like he was “rapping out of a boom box” and the sound never got better through the whole set. Too bad, because he did a great job with his set otherwise.

After his set, I grabbed my refillable daiquiri cup from the previous day and headed back over to Camp FLH to see who was hanging around. Scruffy was there, and I declared that there was a need for another daiquiri in my life. We went next door to the water taps and I tried to rinse out my cup, but everything was dried onto it from the previous day’s drink. I yelled to the guy at the stand to ask if I had to clean it or if he would give me a clean glass. He flagged me over and cleaned out my glass for me, then promptly fixed me an orange daiquiri with strawberry Dole Whip on top. SO YUMMY! While we were there, I spread the word about how delicious they were to two people who walked up behind me haha

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I nominate this guy for “Most valuable vendor” at this year’s GOTJ!

It was pretty chilly, so maybe a huge frozen drink wasn’t the smartest idea in the world, but it was still super delicious. Scruffy helped me drink it, so I only drank about half of it I think. We chilled at camp up until it was time for Rydas to start, and a few of us walked to the stage together. I hung back by the press entrance just to see if I would be able to get into the press area with Scottie since I couldn’t get anywhere near the stage for good photos. After a minute, I realized that I still had my daiquiri cup with me! I quickly found Scruffy (who is always easy to spot in a crowd since he’s so tall!) and asked if he would babysit my cup just in case I could get into the press area. He obliged, and I headed back up front to wait for Scottie.

When Scottie and Scott arrived, I asked if they thought I could get in with them, and they said probably not since security was being strict about press passes. I told them that I was going to try anyway since the worst they could say was no! When they opened the barricade and started letting people in, I walked confidently in behind them. The guard asked if I had a press pass, and I just said “I’m with Faygoluvers” and kept walking hahaha. And that’s how it’s done! Ninja skills, bitch!

When the Rydas started, each one came out onstage and was introduced, along with a few extra guys in the background. Last year, the Rydas were live singing because most of them dropped the bandanas from their faces, but this year they all stayed masked the whole time, so I’m not sure if they were live singing or not. I snapped away as quickly as I could, and I ended up with tons of great pics! They were all so colorful this year, so the photos came out really well.

After the first three songs, the media folks were hustled out of the front of the stage, and off to the left side where we were still behind the barricade. It was pretty cool to watch the rest of the show from an angle I’d never experienced before! I was directly next to the stage, behind a monitor, so I had a prime view for the rest of the set. I also had a great view for that moment when Twiztid’s guy Dustin lit up a joint, and both Jamie and Paul paused during the set to take a few hits hahaha

Just before they sang Sunset Ryda, security asked us to back up and stand on the other side of the security guards in preparation for the artists to leave the stage. I backed up, but the crowd was a little too thick to push into the crowd, so I stood just in front of the security guard at the corner of the stage. Right at the end of the song, the guys started to take off some of their bandanas and toss them into the crowd. Violent J was standing on the corner closest to me, and I could tell that he was about to throw his bandana in my direction! So I watched him closely, and when he tossed it, I lunged forward and grabbed it off of the speaker where it had landed! YES! I quickly wadded it up and stuffed it in my purse, just in case anyone tried to snatch it from me. Then a guy a couple of people over from me got in my face like “Hey you need to give that to her! He was throwing it to her!” and pointed at his girl. I just kinda chuckled and said “Um, no!” haha

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It took a little while for me to be able to walk away since the crowd was thick, but once I was moving, the golf carts full of artists started to drive by. Violent J’s golf cart creeped by me kind of slowly at one point, so I said “Thank you for the bandana, J!!” and he said “Thank YOU” back to me. I went back to Camp FLH and eagerly shared the news about my catching J’s bandana. I retrieved my cup from Scruffy (who had carefully babysat it for upwards of an hour at that point) and sat down to hang out for a while before bed. It was pretty tired, and it was pretty late, so I ended up going back to my camp pretty quickly and retiring for the night.

 

 

Friday, July 25th

Somewhere around 9:30am, I found myself awake and ready to start another day. Today was Twiztid’s day, plus Boondox’s seminar and hopefully I could catch Justinsayne as well. The first thing I did, like the previous day, was get ready to go take a shower. I packed up my shower bag, walked to the showers and HOLY CRAP the line was probably three hours long. I actually got in line for a moment, but the line was in full sun, and no one moved an inch while I was there. So I bailed, and went back to my camp with the intention of just baby wiping down, in hopes that I would be fresh enough to continue with my day.

I did my best to freshen up for the day, and when I was done, I grabbed breakfast and my tablet and headed to Justin and Denton’s camp. I backed up some of my photos onto my tablet as I ate, and eventually I discovered that Justin was up the hill, waiting in the Twiztid Shop line. Today was the main shopping day for our friend Moonshine, and we wanted to get him the primo stuff he’d asked for. Before leaving for the Gathering, Moonshine had met up with Justin in Florida and had given him $300 so we could shop for him. He’d also gotten a long shopping list to go with it, including The Mud, Water, Air and Blood, the new Psychopathic the Videos DVD, the GOTJ Gets Twiztid shirt and a Gathering brochure among other things. When I was done with everything, I locked my tablet back in my truck and headed up to the Twiztid Shop to wait out the line with Justin.

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When I got there…DAMN…the line was huge, and was barely moving at all! Justin was about halfway back in line, so I jumped in line with him. I ended up waiting about an hour with him, but I think he’d been in line for at least 45 minutes before I got there. We were waiting with a cool group of people though, including a guy from Lexington, KY, and a guy who was having everyone sign his shirt. At least the good company made the line a little more bearable, as did the overcast weather.

When we finally made it through the crowd and up to the front, I had pretty much convinced myself that the only thing that would make that kind of wait worth it was to treat myself to a jersey. They were expensive, undoubtedly…but y’know, money comes and money goes. My total order from them was a whopping $263 between me and Moonshine, consisting of the red and black skull lungs jersey, three t-shirts, three DVDs, 2 CDs and 2 lighters. Since my order was so big, I got two free calendars, and walked away with two big bags of loot haha I took the loot back to the truck and locked it up, and a little later, Justin and I decided to go ahead and spend the rest of Moonshine’s money at the Psy merch booth. He ended up with the Dark Lotus CD, videos DVD, a Dark Lotus hoodie, a Dark Lotus t-shirt, two Native World t-shirts, a baseball cap and a Mighty Death Pop lighter. I had a little left over, so I kept it in case I found something extra awesome later.

The rest of the afternoon was spent hanging around camp and doing a bunch of nothing, until it was just before 4:00pm. At that point, I made my way up to the seminar tent so I’d make sure to be on time for the Boondox seminar. Scottie arrived just after I did and sat in front of me, and Boondox made his first appearance almost exactly at 4:00.

He started off by saying that the seminar would be like him…short haha. He didn’t talk about too many things that were very news-worthy, but he did mention that he didn’t know why he hasn’t been asked back into Rydas when someone asked, saying that we needed to ask ICP about that. One girl ended up giving him a doll painted like him, another gave him a bottle of Crystal Head vodka, while two more people gave him a hand beaded Boondox medallion necklace type thing. After seventeen action packed minutes, he announced that the seminar was over, and the crowd started to disperse. It would have been nice to have heard a little more from him since he only speaks like that once a year, but on the flip side, it did afford me the opportunity to catch most of Justinsayne’s set! Boondox had sat down on the side of the stage as he ended, and everyone converged on him for photos and autographs, so I followed the crowd. I’ve met him before, but it never hurts to have another photo of me and my Skarcrow :-)

Moving quickly, I left the seminar tent and made my way back down the hill to the Pendulum stage to watch Justinsayne. I had missed some of his set, but I was still able to catch his last three songs.

He was quite good…definitely someone that I will be watching and supporting in the future. His music has a heavy Native American influence to it, and he even told me earlier that sometimes he starts off his sets by sage smudging the venue. There was one guy in the audience who was VERY into his music, who looked possibly Native American himself. It was fun watching him get so into the beats and the music…it made the set even more enjoyable than it already was!

It was nearing time for main stage acts to start, but I wanted to make sure to grab some dinner before it was time to go. I had passed the chicken strip stand near Camp FLH earlier, and a basket of chicken strips was sounding so good right about then. So I swung back by Camp FLH and found Scruffy, Pigg, EM, Boxy and Cheshyr all hanging around.

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Cheshyr finally decided to make an appearance!

I headed up the hill and got my chicken strips, covered them in hot sauce, and went back down the hill to have dinner at their camp. The chicken was good…just the right size, and was tasty even if it wasn’t piping hot. As I ate, Caskey rode by on a golf cart, and someone was like “Um…doesn’t his set start in 5 minutes??” And sure enough, maybe five minutes later, we heard him taking the stage at main stage! That dude knows how to do it, and not waste any time! I didn’t pay too much attention to his set since I was eating and kicking it with my friends, and pretty soon I heard AMB being announced. I was done eating by then, so I headed back to my camp to get ready, and said I’d see the rest of the guys there.

I had to make another stop by the Poop Deck, which unfortunately caused me to miss Blaze’s introduction on stage. I scurried as fast as I could to get there, so I think I only missed his first song.

I LOVE Blaze, and I love watching him perform live! He’s just a lot of fun, and always seems to be having a good time while he performs. He just has that certain something that makes him really entertaining to me. I really hope that once Twiztid gets their new venture off the ground, Blaze will get the support he deserves so we can see more music from him. At one point, ROC joined him onstage for a few songs, which was nice as well.

After Blaze was done, I creeped myself over toward the right hand side of the stage, to see if there was any space closer to the barricade on that side. People weren’t packed so tightly on that side, so I was able to get within one person of the barricade, directly in front of the main speaker on that side. The next act that came out, if you can call it that, was Mike Busey and the Busey Beauties. This is definitely not the type of entertainment I’m drawn to, but I know that I’m in the minority being a straight female at the Gathering. Their “performance” seemed to go on forever, with the ladies doing random things like pouring milk on someone or running an angle grinder on a piece of metal to make sparks.

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This was also when the world was gifted with the “belly dance” and all the viral videos that accompanied it. But soon enough, the Beauties made way for Da Mafia Six, and order was restored to my world.

I’ve seen Da Mafia Six twice recently. I never really listened to their music, so I think I’m maybe having an overdose of Da Mafia Six recently. They’re ok, but that’s the best I can give them. And for this set, they had a Lil Bytch on stage almost the entire time with them, which made the set all the worse. Thankfully, the Kottonmouth Kings were next, so I had something to look forward to.

I love KMK’s music, but since there’s been so much confusion and tension in the last couple of years within Subnoize, I wasn’t sure how their set was going to go. Last year saw Johnny Richter perform with them, but Daddy X was inexplicably nowhere in sight. This year, the lineup was Daddy X, D-Loc and Dirtball, but they also had other guys who came out and sang with them, and I had no idea who they were. I don’t keep up with KMK the way some people do, so I am probably just behind on the news of who they were. But it was just kind of weird.

It felt like it was missing that normal something that gets me so into their sets. They were all dressed pretty plainly, without any color, and they didn’t have any background or props. The lights weren’t even used effectively to give some vibrancy to the performance. They kinda just looked like anyone else, instead of looking and commanding the stage like the Kottonmouth Kings. It was pretty disappointing, honestly. Couple that with the fact that I didn’t know the majority of the songs they played, and it just didn’t lend itself to being a good set. That’s too bad, really, since I think they’re so awesome, and since they are very capable of wig blowing live performances.

Next up was my favorite duo, Twiztid! I’d worn my new jersey to main stage that night, and boy it was hot…will have to remember to wear this thing all winter! Twiztid used the same pot leaf and bong stage set up as they did last year, which was even fun to watch them set up (people would cheer when each piece of the set lit up for the first time). As soon as Twiztid took the stage, the crowd very predictably went completely nuts for them.

I love Twiztid, and I’ve never seen either of them have an off performance. This one was no different. They sang new stuff, old stuff, popular stuff, obscure stuff, and of course they played my favorite live song of theirs, They Told Me. They were animated and expressive through the whole set, and really ate up the energy the crowd was feeding them. Toward the end, they kicked two giant beach balls onto the crowd, which got floated around for the whole rest of the set. As they ended the set, they didn’t do their normal bit of comedy at the end, but they did bow to us and leave the stage to a thunderous cacophony of WHOOP WHOOPS! and family chants.

When the set was done, I ended up talking to a girl next to me in the crowd, who had noticed the photos I was taking. I told her to watch for my write up on Faygoluvers and she said she would, so if you’re reading this…HI!!! :-) I hope you liked the photos I posted!

As I made the walk back to my camp, I passed the showers and noticed that there was no one in line! My original plan was to go watch Razakel and Sicktanic just to see if the crowd was going to behave during their set or not, but the sight of a lineless shower was just too appealing! So I decided to head for a shower post haste, while I was still able to get one without a wait.

Arriving back at camp, I saw that Kevin and my other camp mates had turned the pathway in front of our camp into the Fruit Loop Forest again! Last year, Kevin and his wife covered our path with thousands upon thousands of glow sticks, and it was so beautiful and ethereal that we decided to help him do it again this year. We didn’t have quite as many glow sticks this year as last year, but the effect was the same. Everyone that walked through seemed to think it was so pretty, and we all took to calling FRUIT LOOOOOP to each other when we passed. But I couldn’t linger very long, so I jumped into my tent, quickly assembled a shower bag, and made my way back to the shower trailers. By this point, the mud outside the showers was almost ankle deep, and it was so dark that you couldn’t see to step around it. My shower felt awesome, but I pissed myself off because I forgot to bring my brush to brush my hair out afterward. On the way out, I ended up stepping straight into some ankle deep mud, which covered my whole shoe and foot. Dammit! So when I got back to camp, I washed off my feet and shoes again with a gallon of water.

Back at camp, I brushed out my hair and added curl cream, and changed into a clean outfit for the evening. As I was getting ready, I overheard someone on the Pendulum stage with an AMAZING voice. I checked the schedule, and it was Dark Half that I was overhearing. I listened pretty intently to the rest of their set, and promised myself that I’d check them out once I got home. After grabbing a snack, I headed up to Camp FLH and hung out with them for a while. They were expecting Frog to show up later with his wheel, but he wasn’t there at the moment. We hung out and enjoyed each others company until just before UGA was supposed to start. I was the only one that wanted to go, so I headed up to the Carousel stage all by my lonesome so I could catch their set. When I got there, Bone Crusher was still performing, so I grabbed a spot right at the barricade again in anticipation of the UGA set.

After Bone Crusher, I stayed put and soon Boondox, Bukshot and Claas were taking the stage. All three of them seem to have a good time with their UGA venture, so this was a pretty fun set to watch. Bukshot seems to take the lead a little bit, but Claas was stepping right up and taking charge when it was his time. Boondox still seems like he takes a little bit of a backseat in the group, but not in a bad way…he’s a member of the team, and doesn’t make it all about himself. During the set, Crucifix and Jellyroll also made appearances, which was fun.

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After the set, I dropped back by Camp FLH, and Frog was there temping people to stop and spin his wheel for free beer. Scruffy, Pigg, EM and I all just sat back and watched as Frog would yell “Free beer! Spin the wheel!” and floods of people would come up to him. Wheel options ranged from licking the lint from someone’s belly button to making yourself bleed to going up to a random person and humping them and much worse. One guy ended up being told to go to the nearby ice truck and take a dump by one of its tires, but he wasn’t able to do it, so he walked away without getting a beer. Two more guys had to drop their pants and rub their bare butts along the ground. And maybe the worst one of the night was when one guy blew his nose into another guy’s hand, then that guy ate it! Ain’t no way that I’m doing ANY of that for a beer!! hahaha But people were having a lot of fun with it, either by doing the stunts themselves, or by watching others.

I ended up hanging around and laughing with everyone over the wheel until 5:00am, when I finally decided to hit the hay and headed back to my camp. Everyone was like “Damn Jules…5:00am! You’re going hard tonight!” haha Hey, at least they gave me credit for going hard, even if it was a relatively soft day haha. I made it into bed almost immediately, and pretty much passed out as soon as I hit my pillow.

 

 

Saturday, July 26th

It was 10:00am on Saturday morning before I moved even a single muscle after falling asleep five hours earlier. Like literally, I passed out and woke up five hours later in the exact same position. I then rolled over and promptly passed back out for another hour, and netted six hours of the soundest, most comatose sleep I’ve ever had at the Gathering. The temperature was perfect for sleeping, and my neighbors and camp mates had been very quiet that morning. It felt glorious to wake up feeling legitimately rested going into the final day.

The main event of the day was the ICP seminar, then later a whole host of awesome acts going on on the main stage. Luckily I was still fresh from the night before, so I didn’t have to worry about standing in line for a shower. I picked up some breakfast stuff, then headed across the road to Denton and Justin’s camp. Nate was the only one around at the moment, and he was cooking up pancakes on their camp stove. He eventually added a pan full of bacon and Izzy’s dozen eggs into the pans, and had a full breakfast going. It smelled great, and everyone seemed to enjoy everything he’d cooked. As I sat there, I put my green, black and white dreadfalls on since I was planning on wearing my spiffy Faygoluvers jersey that day.

I asked Izzy to do some makeup on me, which looked great except for when she insisted that I let her put blush on my cheeks. There’s nothing in makeup I hate worse than blush, and when I caught a look at myself once I got back to my tent, I thought I looked like a clown! I HATE the way I look with pink cheeks!! So I took it off, and promptly messed up another part of my eye makeup in the process. It was like ten minutes before the ICP seminar was going to start, so I quickly patched up my makeup as best I could, then headed out for the seminar tent.

Me...lookin' fresh!

Me…lookin’ fresh!

When I got to the seminar tent, it was packed to the gills. I made my way up front to the press area, and started to figure out with Scottie how I was going to help cover the event. We decided that I was going to message Shifty (PunkRockJuggalo) on Facebook every time ICP announced something, then he would post it on the FLH Facebook and Twitter. Just before ICP came out, Upchuck (or should I call him Joel, since he wasn’t wearing his Upchuck paint??) came over to check press passes. Since I didn’t have one, he apologetically said that I needed to stand behind the table that sectioned off that area…a full three feet back from where I was already standing haha. So I complied with a giggle, and continued on as I was.

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When ICP finally arrived and started announcing stuff, I was quickly messaging everything to Shifty. None of the announcements they made were very earth shattering…the album with Da Mafia Six, yet more promises about the Joker’s Card box set, an Australian Gathering, and a large tour they will be doing through the fall. They also had a good time busting on a small guy in a big chair, and how Otis is “so very, very young, and so very, very wicked.” hahaha J even commented about Otis that…”He’s afraid of the dark, but in the daytime, he’s extra wicked. But when it’s dark and he’s alone, he gets scared.” Too funny. Otis was cool with it though!

At the end of the seminar, they announced that they were going to give away a CD called Psyr 17, which was a mixtape with lots of folks on it. Most people had gotten a ticket when they arrived, but just like last year, I saw absolutely no one giving out tickets when I arrived. As the seminar ended, J threw his notes (which were on a paper plate) into the crowd, and announced that they would start giving out the CDs. Everyone rushed forward, and it took a while for them to make a dent in the crowd. Since I didn’t have a ticket, my plan was to wait until everyone with tickets got theirs, and see if they had any left. During the seminar, I’d gotten requests from both Shifty and Moonshine to pick up CDs for them if I could, so I was keeping my fingers crossed.

After most people were gone, a small crowd of us were waiting on leftover CDs. Finally Upchuck gave the staff the OK to give out the rest of the CDs. I casually asked the girl if I could have two, and she just handed me two without even batting an eye. Then, as I was waiting for the crowd to clear so I could back up, Upchuck came over and handed me another one! Awesome! So now I had a CD for each of us! With CDs in hand, I left the tent and messaged both of them to let them know that I had the CDs. I pretty much just told them that my ninja skills were what made me able to get three of the CDs. Of course, now I’ve written about it and exposed the very un-ninja-like way in which I actually got them, so I guess I ruined that mystique. Oh well…I don’t think they cared :-)

I wanted to drop by the Oddity Freak Show for a bit since I’d had a good time watching it last year, so that was my next stop. When I arrived, there was a lady suspended in the air by hooks in her stomach!! OMG.

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On the other side was the same man as last year, but this year he was painted red and was suspended by hooks in his back. When I walked up, they were in the process of stringing up a Faygo 2-liter bottle from his nutsack, I shit you not. When they finally got it secured, he started swinging it back and forth, and there was actually a good six inches of nutsack visible as it stretched out of his shorts. Un. Be. Leivable. All the dudes around me were all groaning and holding their crotches in sympathetic pain! It was so funny. Since all that was going on at the moment was the two folks being suspended, I decided to go back to camp for a while.

The sky was looking ominous, so I got on my phone and pulled up a radar, and saw a big line of nasty looking storms heading right for us. Once I got back to camp, I sat down with Denton and let everyone know that rain was on the way, and to prep their camps.

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Nate tries to find a lady to keep him company

After taking off my dreads, I went to my tent and moved my bed and dirty clothes away from the walls of the tent, and moved my chairs inside. As I was doing this, I overheard Hiway on the Pendulum stage singing Gibberish, which sounded just as amazing live as it did on Youtube! I also moved some leftover stuff out of the bed of the truck and put it inside the cab, so we wouldn’t have to deal with a lot of soaking wet stuff the next day.

With that handled, I went back to Denton and Justin’s camp and hung out with whoever was there. Beside us, there was a group of guys posted up on the side of the road with paper plates with numbers on them. Any time girls would walk by, the guys would hold up 9s and 10s and cheer at them. I watched them for a minute, and I noticed that every girl, no matter her age or what she looked like, was getting 9s and 10s…that was very nice of them :-) But then, a golf cart of cops rolled by, and the guys jokingly booed and held up plates with -1s on them hahaha One of the cops was like “Oh come on, I’ve gotta be better than a negative one, right??” and got a good laugh out of it with them. A little later, a golf cart rolled by with the lady cop on it, as well as a guy cop. The guys all held up the 9s and 10s for her, but then quickly pointed at the guy cop and held up the -1s for him hahaha It was funny, and all the cops were having fun with it too, which was wonderful to see!

Once the rain came, I went back to my truck and sat inside it with Jake for a while and got to know him a little better while we soaked up some air conditioning. I’d been running the truck every day for a while so the battery wouldn’t die, and this time, I also took a moment to call Moonshine on the stereo in my truck and talk to him. He was still in Florida, but managed to chat for about half an hour or so. As people would come close to the truck, I’d yell that I had Moonshine on the phone, so they could come to the window and say hi. It never did rain really hard while I was sitting in my truck, so I guess the worst of the rain went around us. The truck didn’t even get a full rinse of all the dust on it.

While I was hanging out earlier, Justin had let me know that he was able to snag a Gathering booklet for Moonshine at the front gate, and that they were selling amulets as well. Since I had a little bit of time before I really needed to be anywhere, I decided to walk out to the gate and see if they had any left so I could pick one up for Moonshine. I walked past Camp FLH and said hey, then finished making my way up and out to the box office. When I got there, they said that the remaining amulets had been sent to the merch booth, and to check there.

Walking back, I took a minute to hang out with the guys at Camp FLH. Everyone was in a good and giggly mood while I was there…man it sucked that this was gonna be the last day that I had to hang out with these guys! I felt like I had some new Gathering besties, and was gonna be so sad to see us all go our separate ways at the end of the evening! I forget how it came up, but at some point we started talking about how we were like the Wizard of Oz, and Scruffy and I thought the comparison was hilarious!

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So we all jumped up and posed for a photo…I was Dorothy, Scruffy was the Scarecrow, Pigg was the Tin Man, EM was the Lion and Boxy was Toto hahaha We posed, someone snapped a picture, and then the mother of all inside jokes happened. I’ve been sworn to secrecy about what happened, but we all ended up doubled over, laughing hysterically at Boxy’s expense!!

Speaking of, Boxy really hadn’t quite earned this new nickname before this evening. He’d taken a Moon Mist box and fashioned for himself a helmet with glow sticks skewered through it. He wore it around for the rest of the night and ended up having a lot of photos of himself taken. He ended up all over the web because of it, so that’s the name that stuck for him :-)

I needed some dinner before I went off to main stage for the evening, and I figured that a burger would be nice. I went a little way up the hill to the food stand, but burgers were just then being put on the grill, and the guy said they were gonna be cooking for eight more minutes. Since I had a few minutes to kill, I decided to run over to the merch booth to see if they actually had the amulets for sale. They did, so I grabbed one, which spent the remainder of Moonshine’s money perfectly. With that taken care of, I went back to the burger vendor for dinner. My first question was if $8 would buy me a burger and fries (since exactly $8 was all I had in cash). He said yes, so he fixed me up a burger. He asked if I wanted peppers on it, so I said sure, why not. Then, instead of a little platform of fries in the basket with my burger, he gave me another whole boat of fries, and asked if I wanted chili and cheese on them. Sure, throw it on! It was huge, so I knew I wasn’t going to come close to finishing it. I went back to camp FLH and ate, and shared my chili cheese fries with everyone. I finished the burger but barely made a dent in the fries before I was stuffed! Because of my detour for dinner, I missed all of Dizzy Wright’s set, and ended up watching Madchild from their camp.

After Madchild, Boondox was next, and there was no way I was gonna miss my Skarcrow’s set! I hurried back to camp to pack up batteries and whatnot, then rushed off to the stage. I was wearing my Faygoluvers jersey, and as I passed Scottie and Scott’s trailer, I ran into the two of them and Polmar, also wearing their jerseys. We took the opportunity to get a group photo, then we all walked off toward main stage together. The three of them headed off for the press pit while I found the rest of my Faygoluvers buddies in the crowd. Boxy was rocking his glowing helmet, and Scruffy is super tall, so it was easy to spot everyone :-)

I weaseled my way up fairly close to the front on the left side, and was just in time for Boondox to be announced.

Quite possibly the weirdest, creepiest picture I've ever seen of Boondox

Quite possibly the weirdest, creepiest picture I’ve ever seen of Boondox

I’m a HUGE Boondox fan, and I’ve been incredibly pleased with everything we’ve seen from him recently. His album Abaddon was awesome, so I was excited to see how he would tweak his live show to incorporate his new stuff. Crucifix was his hype man for this set, and they both did an amazing job. Boondox has really stepped up his game over the last couple of years, and I thought his set was excellent, just like last year. Lots of movement around the stage, lots of expressive movements, and very intense facial expressions. Crucifix was really a great hype man as well, and gave a whole extra dimension to the set. I’m really excited to watch Crucifix’s career, and I have a feeling that we will see great things from him.

As I was standing in the crowd and snapping away with my camera during Boondox’s set, a huge splash of root beer came out of nowhere and soaked my camera! It had splashed all over me as well, so I didn’t have many dry spots on my shirt to use to dry it off. I tried my best, but there was root beer all over the layers of the zoom lense and inside the shutter button. I asked the guy next to me if I could use a corner of his shirt to dry it off, and thankfully he said yes. I dried off the lense and the rest of the body, but it still seemed like there was root beer inside the shutter button. I did my best to get it all out, but when I turned the camera back on, the shutter button wasn’t working. Everything else seemed fine, but when I’d press the button, it wouldn’t take a picture. CRAP. Luckily, I always travel with a spare camera, and now my spare camera is almost the exact same kind as my main camera. So I stood there enjoying the rest of Boondox’s set without taking pics, and afterward went back to my camp to retrieve the spare camera.

As I walked back to main stage, I passed Scottie at his trailer. He’d previously mentioned the possibility of using Big Ian’s press pass to get into the press pit that night, and now that I’d already ruined one of my cameras, I really wanted to take him up on it. There was a lot of stuff getting thrown at main stage, and I didn’t want to run the risk of staying in the crowd and ruining another camera when I could utilize the press pit, then put away the camera for the rest of the set. We walked through the crowd until he ultimately found Ian and retrieved his pass, so I was very glad to be able to use it, even if it was just for a few sets.

Since I now had the press pass, I headed up front with Scottie and Scott for the Cypress Hill set. Everyone seemed so excited for Cypress Hill, myself included. I’d only seen them once, in maybe 2003 or 2004, so it was well past time to catch them live again.

As the set started, I snapped away as fast as I could and got some amazing pics of both guys! After three songs, we were hustled out of the press area and back into the crowd. I found Scruffy and Pigg in the crowd, and they both looked like they were having the time of their lives! Scruffy even got boosted up on top of the crowd and surfed his way to the front!

My favorite moment of the Cypress Hill set was when B-Real said that he wanted to see which side of the crowd was louder. To most crowds, this would be a fairly standard chanting contest…but oh, no…we are Juggalos. What started out as playful chanting soon morphed into both sides screaming “FUCK THAT SIDE! FUCK THAT SIDE!” and a full fledged trash war began. B-Real and Sen both had these very genuine “OH SHIT!” looks on their faces when they saw how quickly the chanting had escalated haha Of course it was all in good fun, but for a moment, they genuinely looked scared that they’d started a riot or something!

After their set, I had to go to the bathroom pretty badly, so I headed back to my camp for a moment to utilize the Poop Deck. I didn’t get done as quickly as I would have liked, and Hopsin ended up taking the stage while I was still at my camp. We quickly walked back to main stage, and by the time he was ending his second song, I was able to sneak into the press pit and grab some up close photos.

I was glad to see that Hopsin was able to make it back to the Gathering and give us a full, kick ass set (as opposed to his set that was cut short in 2011 because of the Rydas). Hopsin is an eloquent yet angry man, who does a superb job of channeling his anger into his music and his live performances. He performs really passionately, and is always awesome to watch live. This set was no exception, and the crowd showed him tons of love. It’s really nice to see that Hopsin hasn’t neglected his Juggalo fans, despite having achieved so much mainstream success recently.

As Hopsin left the stage, the mood changed. The time had finally arrived! The moment that we’d all been waiting for since we got there four days earlier! It was ICP time! Given the fact that I had already messed up one camera with soda that night, I made the executive decision to just stay out of the press pit entirely. Last year, it was all I could do to keep my camera dry, so I just didn’t want to risk ruining both of my cameras this year. Scottie had mentioned possibly trying to get his staff onstage for the Faygo Armageddon, but he said that he really didn’t know what would happen when the time came. At that moment, I pretty much just decided to just be a Juggalo. I wanted to be with my fam and dance in the Faygo rain and have that moment of exuberant happiness that I crave all year. So I stayed in the crowd, surrounded by Scruffy, Pigg, EM and Boxy, who were all just as amped as I was. I wrapped up my camera and EM’s phone in a plastic bag, and he kept them in his pocket for the length of the set.

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Boxy, ready for ICP!

Unlike last year, when ICP came out for their set, they didn’t immediately start with the Faygo. I actually thought to myself that it would have been a fantastic time to have been in the press pit since my camera would have stayed nice and dry. Drats. Oh well. But soon enough, they started cracking open the Faygos and the action never stopped. The crowd was really wild for this set…lots of assholes shoving people violently out of the way, and lots of people throwing dangerous things like traffic cones and coolers.

I even had one guy who was much taller than me violently GRAB ME BY THE NECK and shove me out of the way. Had anyone done that in any other setting, I’d have had him arrested for assault. But I did what any civilized lady would do, and grabbed him by the neck and shoved him away from in the opposite direction. He was obviously stunned that I fought back against him, and mouthed “I’m sorry!” while waving his hands to keep me away from him. He better be glad that I already had a Faygo bottle tucked under my arm, or I’d have taken him down.

But aside from that, the set was great. I particularly loved hearing Amy’s in the Attic live since that was a new one for me. They did Bazooka Joey, Tilt A Whirl, Night of the Chainsaw, Chicken Huntin’ and The Show Must Go On among many others. I also noticed that J didn’t seem to lose his voice as badly this year as in other years. Toward the end of the set, when they brought out the hose to really start spraying everyone down, I’m pretty sure it was water since it was clear. I got hit quite a few times with it, and it never tasted sweet at all. Whatever…it had rained on and off during the set, so we were all wet anyway haha

As the set wound to a close, it was time for the Faygo Armageddon. In between dodging bottles and drunk people, I kept and eye out for Scottie, Scott and Polmar to see if they’d made it onstage. The finale is so fun, and is that moment that I love where all of the responsibilities of being an adult just melt away and you can do something fun and carefree for a little while. It was well into finale before I spotted all three of the guys off to the right side of the stage. A big part of me was so excited that they got to go up there, but another part was like DAMMIT I might have been able to be with them had I gone over to the press entrance. Oh well. I had fun regardless, but if I have the opportunity next year, trust that I will take advantage of it!

Once the set was over, the folks on stage kept spraying everyone until they were out of Faygo. I moved all the way up, and ended up getting sprayed straight in the face by Scott when he was spraying two bottles at once haha On my way back to camp, I saw that there were a bunch of golf carts full of cops lined up across the exit of the area. They weren’t stopping people…in fact, they were chatting with people, giving daps and exchanging pleasantries with everyone who walked by! I stopped at one cart and joked “Aww, you’re dry!” with one of the cops. I ended up chatting with him for maybe five minutes, talking about how the festival had gone for them. He said they’d had no arrests, hadn’t been called to break up any fights, and that the only thing they’d had to handle was someone who found a random person passed out in their car and asked to have them moved. He genuinely seemed to have had no problems at all, and maybe even enjoyed himself during the festival. That’s success, I’d say.

Leaving the area, I made my way back to camp, and tried to clean myself up as best I could. I stashed my Faygo soaked clothes and shoes in a garbage bag, and baby wiped my whole self down before changing into some clean clothes for the rest of the night. While I was cleaning up, I heard Crucifix performing on the Pendulum stage. He sounded great, and I wished that I’d been able to jump over there and watch his set, but I wasn’t even fully dressed at that moment! haha

When I was cleaned up, I walked back to Scottie’s trailer and dropped off Ian’s press pass, and picked up my phone (I’d left it to charge earlier, but their Ballas site generator had gone out during main stage, so I had only gotten 15% charge on the battery). I hung around with them for a while, and we all discussed the good times we’d had during the festival. After hugs all around, I left them and went up to Camp FLH to pick up my camera from EM. Frog was there with the wheel again, and was handing out beer to the people who did the stunts they spun. I was pretty tired by this point, but I remember someone eating someone else’s toenail clippings, someone drinking beer out of a shoe, and a girl rubbing her hand on her private parts then slapping a guy on the neck and yelling “DUCK BUTTER!” It was super hilarious.

I was fading fast by about 3:00am, so I decided to bid a fond farewell to all my new Faygoluvers friends and head for bed. After hugs all around, and well wishes for safe travels, I walked back to my camp. Denton, Justin and Jake were at their camp, and said that they were going to leave in the morning, so I left my final goodbyes for them until the morning. I guess everyone was wiped out because it was pretty quiet as I headed to bed for the last time of the Gathering.

 

 

Sunday, July 27th

For my last morning at the Gathering, I woke up around 8:30am. We apparently had until 6:00pm that night to be out of the grounds, but since we had around a 7 hour drive to get home, we were going to try to be on the road by lunch time. I’d already organized a lot of my stuff the previous day, but the bulk of my departure prep was still to be done. My hair felt absolutely disgusting since I hadn’t washed it out after ICP the previous night, so my first line of business was to take a shower. I packed up my bag, walked off toward the showers…and they were gone! WTF?? They yanked the shower trailers ten hours before the campground closed? Not to mention that it was the morning after ICP, and lots of people had huge drives ahead of them that day. That was a pretty shitty thing to do to people…to start them out on their drives home without a shower after an ICP set. DO BETTER NEXT TIME PSYCHOPATHIC, if you’re reading this.

So, dejected and disgusting, I headed back to camp to clean up as best I could and get on my way. I baby wiped down and changed clothes, and just popped my hair into a pony tail with a bandana on so hopefully no one could see how disgusting my hair had gotten. Slowly but surely I worked my way around my tent, packing up my dirty clothes, my blankets, my shoes, my “tub o’ stuff” and everything else I had. I took my cooler outside and dumped out the water, and found that I still had a bunch of half-frozen bottles of water left. My dry ice did the trick for three years in a row! I gave Izzy and Jamie each a bottle of frozen water, sat my mostly frozen gallon of water aside, and dumped the water out. I packed my dirty clothes into the empty cooler, and everything else went compactly back into my main duffel bag or my tub.

Everyone was breaking down camp all around us. Rob and Eric had broken down the night before and were already on their way home, and Justin and Denton were already packed up as well. When they were ready to go, we all shared some hugs and I bid them safe travels until next year, if I don’t see them before. Back at my camp, I broke down my tent, then Kevin and his guys broke down my canopy tent for me. The last thing I had to do was break down the Poop Deck, which went relatively easily as well. Usually stuff doesn’t pack as compactly for the ride home, but everything seemed to be fitting like a Tetris puzzle pretty well. Izzy wanted to fire up the grill and cook the potatoes she’d brought, so she did that while Jamie and I started to pack the truck for the ride home. We had enough room to put the coolers in the bed of the truck instead of inside the cab, so Jamie was going to have a lot more room in the back seat for the ride home.

Rusty was hanging around this morning, and said that the folks he rode with weren’t able to drive their car in to pack it up, and asked if we could drive his stuff out for him so he wouldn’t have to carry it all. There was plenty of room, so he brought his stuff over and hung around until we left. Once Izzy’s potatoes were done, she passed them around to some folks, but I just wasn’t feeling having a potato for breakfast. Honestly, I wanted some Taco Bell haha. When the grill was cooled, we packed that up as well as Izzy’s bike, and we were just about ready to go. We threw Rusty’s stuff on top, and started our drive out. I tried to go out via the path where the merch booth was, but a big truck was parked in the middle of the road, loading up the ATM machines. D’oh! So Izzy got out and directed me backwards down the path so I could go out the other way.

At the top of the hill, we passed the food stand next to the now-vacated Camp FLH. Izzy told me to stop, rolled down her window and yelled “Hey! Do you have any free food?” One guy motioned at a big buffet pan of food, so Izzy got out and ran to get it. When she brought it back, it was dripping, so we threw a trash bag on top of a pile of pillows in the back seat, and took the whole pan with us haha I was so scared that it was going to get dumped all over my interior, but ultimately it was fine. It was a big tray of chicken, veggies and rice, and it smelled delicious! What we were going to do with all that food, I wasn’t sure, but we’d figure it out.

As we made our way up the hill and out the gate, I couldn’t help but think of how lucky we were that it had been relatively dry through our whole Gathering. It rained a little, but it never got soaked and muddy. Had this hill been muddy, there’s no way that anyone would have been able to make it out of the grounds. And all of those places where cars had parked down in grassy areas off the road? If it had been soaked and muddy, so many of those cars would have been stuck. I really think we dodged a bullet weather-wise, and I had no real complaints about the weather.

As we crested the top of the hill and made our way out to the parking lot, we found Rusty’s ride and unloaded his stuff. Izzy took the pan of food out and sat it on the ground, then went to the nearby pizza stand to get some plates. She brought enough plates and forks back for a bunch of us to eat, so we all loaded up big plates of the chicken, veggies and rice. And it was delicious, dude. Maybe I was just starving, but I scarfed it down with the quickness since it was so good and still hot. Then, as I stood there, a package of Twinkies landed at my feet! I picked them up, and looked around to see who had tossed them to me, but no one fessed up. So I said “Are these from…GOD? Is God raining Twinkies down on me from heaven??” haha It was an unopened pack, so I ate them as well, heavenly or not haha

After saying our last goodbyes to the folks in the area, Izzy, Jamie and I got back in the truck and started the drive home. We made it two exits down the highway before our tarp was so loose that it was about to fly off, so we pulled over so Izzy could fix it. We hit the road again, and despite having just eaten the big plate of food at the exit, I wanted some Taco Bell BAD. We made it a few more miles down the road before we saw a Taco Bell sign, so we decided to stop and have lunch. I had the Quesarito box, and shared my Mountain Dew Sangria with Izzy. While we ate, it started to rain, so Izzy once again tried to get the tarp to stay in place so our stuff wouldn’t get wet. But really, even if everything did get wet, it was ok since we were on our way home. A little way further down the road, the tarp was starting to completely come off, so we pulled over, and Izzy took the tarp completely off and started over. Luckily that was the last time she had to deal with it, and it made it the rest of the way home just fine.

The drive home was uneventful, and was spent with talking to Moonshine on the phone, chatting and joking, and checking out the new Dark Lotus album. We made one more stop for gas somewhere in Kentucky, and spotted a car in the parking lot with a Strange symbol on it, so I bet they were on their way home from the Gathering as well! Once we got back to Nashville, we dropped Jamie off at Opry Mills right around 8:30pm, and the sky was looking dangerously ominous. We hightailed it out of there (actually squealing my tires as we left) in an attempt to get home before it stormed on us. Luckily we made it to my place before the rain started, and we quickly threw Izzy’s stuff into her car and the rest of my stuff onto my porch, just to get it under cover. We got everything into the house just fine, but it was thundering and lightening off in the distance the entire time. Once everything was unloaded, Izzy headed off for home, and I headed straight to my shower!

Overall, I’d had a great time at this Gathering. Sure, it was different than Hogrock. There were things that were better and things that were worse, but it was a learning year for us all. I think the venue worked quite well for a festival like this, though I do think that the camping and shower situation was abysmal! The stages and other venues were great, and I had no complaints about anything in that regard. I loved that everything seemed so convenient and close, and all of the stages were just a stonesthrow from my camp. But the converse side to that is that I felt like people were right on top of each other, and we didn’t have the space to really move in and make a little home for ourselves for the time we were there. Was it as good as Hogrock? In my opinion, no. Hogrock will always be Shangri-La to me. But if we can’t have Hogrock, I think Legend Valley is an acceptable substitute.

As some of you may know, for the last two years, I posted a mailbox in front of my campsite at Hogrock with a sign asking people to leave stuff inside it. I didn’t end up putting up the mailbox this year, despite having it with me the entire time. My tent was close to the tree line on the corner of the path to the Pendulum stage, and I had a tent and two vehicles between me and the road. I really felt like if I put the mailbox up in such a central location, it was going to get fucked with. I know a lot of people who had chairs and similar items go missing since we were in such a central and well traveled location. I just didn’t want to risk someone stealing or otherwise vandalizing the mailbox if no one was there to watch it all the time. My camp at Hogrock was in a secluded area without a lot of through traffic, so I never had that concern there. Maybe next year, if I feel the same way, I will post it at Scottie’s trailer :-)

The other observation I’d like to make is about the general demeanor of the Juggalos at this year’s Gathering. Of the four Gatherings I’ve been to, the Juggalos this time around were by far the most well behaved. People actually acted like grown ass adults this time, and in general, had fun without ruining things for other people. I didn’t see nearly as many people who were really badly fucked up on drugs, and even drunkenness was kept in control for the most part. I got good, sound sleep every night thanks to people actually letting others sleep and not being obnoxious assholes in the early morning hours (at least where I was camped). Even the cops recognized that people were, for the most part, acting like civilized human beings, even while drinking, partying and using substances.

So that’s it! I hope you’ve enjoyed the read. If you have any questions or comments, please post them below! Til later, ninjas! Whoop whoop!

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    Faygoluvers Comments

  1. scruffy

    scruffy

    Comment posted on Friday, August 15th, 2014 11:07 pm GMT -6 at 11:07 pm

    killer write-up.
    you and me together, we probably helped make an extra four hundred bucks for that daquiri guy.
    i had forgotten that i spent the entire rydas set jumpin around with your drink in my hand…

  2. Shiftzilla

    PunkRockJuggalo

    Comment posted on Monday, August 18th, 2014 07:52 am GMT -6 at 7:52 am

    Alright, i finally read the full review. (i read a part of it when it was first posted).

    You did a great job!

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