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Published on Aug 20, 2015
I’ve attended and covered some of the most highly lauded music festivals across the country. But let’s be real, once you’ve been to one, you’ve been to them all. The Bonnaroos and Coachellas of the world are like those all-inclusive resorts on South Pacific islands with the straw huts and coconut cocktails and “traditional” evening performers and the same damned couple you met at the Fiji Sheraton last year from Topeka. You know, the places where they tell you upon arrival never to leave resort grounds? For me, it was time to ditch the basic vacation. I wanted to enter the jungle and party with the cannibals.
Throughout the past decade, panicked news reports told the world that this “criminal gang” known as Juggalos had reconvened for their week-long, dog-dayed debauchery, and some C-level celebrity was pelted with something or other during his or her performance. We wanted to witness these clown-faced maniacs. It was time to experience this Gathering of the Juggalos.
Which brings me to the guide who introduced us to the tribe—Mike Busey. Although it was only his second year as a performer at the Gathering, Busey and his small freak show army of fire-breathing burlesque babes had already become the festival’s hottest commodity through their carousel orgy stage performances. Lucky for us, Busey was a fan and escorted us snugly under his enormous tattooed wing.