The Gathering of the Juggalos, a new book of photography by Daniel Cronin, captures the Juggalo subculture on film.

The four-day Gathering brings thousands of Juggalos to Hogrock Campgrounds, in Illinois, for a celebration of music, drugs, and a unique brand of group love.

Much media coverage of the Gathering focuses on snark, but Cronin attempts to show rather than tell.

The book’s forward is written by Camille Dodero, the author of the original (and best) account of the Gathering, published in 2010.

Through Cronin’s lens, the Juggalos look incredibly human.

There’s something almost pastoral about the shots.

A warlock-like attendee.

The entrance to the campground.

Faygo, a hallmark of Juggalo culture, features here.

We also get to see some attendees applying face paint.

The series is not without the periodic butt crack.

But there are plenty of more poignant shots, too.

Co.Design

Shocking Revelation: Juggalos Are Humans Too

In a new book of portraiture, photographer Daniel Cronin takes an unlikely approach to documenting the infamous Gathering.

Sometimes it’s hard being a Juggalo. The media hates you. The band you love is, to many, nothing but a laughing stock. And recently, even the FBI classified your kind as a criminal gang.

For four days every year, thousands of Juggalos gather at Hogrock Campgrounds, in Illinois, for a celebration of the things they hold dear: Insane Clown Posse, drugs, boobs, and more interestingly, a form of pacifism that Camille Dodero famously described in her Village Voice report from the Gathering of 2010.

There’ve been quite a few "Juggalo Journalism" pieces since then--some of them good, some of them sensational. But documentaries, like the fantastic American Juggalo, have done a great job of showing rather than telling. The same allure can be found in the photography of Daniel Cronin, whose book The Gathering of the Juggalos collects portraits shot at the eponymous annual event.

According to Noisey’s Ben Shapiro, Cronin happened upon a group of Juggalos in his native Portland and immediately knew he’d found a solid subject. He attended his first Gathering in 2010, where he met Dodero while she was reporting her piece for the Voice (she’s also written the forward to Cronin’s book). Right away, he knew he wanted to take a unique approach:

I think the first year I was a little overwhelmed with it all, but the second year I was definitely comfortable and knew how to approach it. There were only two times where I got confronted by people telling me to get the fuck out of here, but that’s fair. When I had the camera out on the tripod and was walking around, I wouldn’t go near the open air drug markets, because I don’t want to photograph that anyway. It’d just be more photos of Juggalos using drugs, which are all over, plus there are drugs at every music festival. It’s not unique. I didn’t want to violate that space. I think it’s cool that they don’t allow photography near the drugs. They want people to feel safe with what they are doing …

I completely understand that they’ve been shat on by the media before. To them, I’m just another guy with a camera who’s going to misrepresent them.

The muted hues and razor sharp details of Cronin’s large-format compositions cast his subjects in an almost Romantic light. Juggalo visual culture--purple Faygo, butt cracks, and face paint--fades into the background of his earnest, and often very beautiful, portraiture.

Gathering of the Juggalos, Cronin’s first book, is out now. Order it here.

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14 Comments

  • Jason Bolton

    Middle class American teenagers rebel against society. How utterly boring. Even more boring is the photographer who tries to promote himself by taking some pics of it. What's going to reveal to us next... students in Daytona beach?

  • Jason

    I agree with Jeremy.  I listened to (and still do from time to time) ICP, Tech N9ne and Twiztid and I think they are great!  I'm a very successful Corporate Headhunter and have no problems pounding one of their songs in my car as I roll into the office or up to a client's office.  They have some sick beats, some wicked choruses and some interesting lyrics.  If you take their lyrics seriously, you're an idiot.  It's just them expressing themselves.  Remember when Eminem was chastized for the same thing?  And Marilyn Manson?  These people are "entertainers" and are doing what they do to entertain people.  I am not part of the "juggalo" family, but I know a few people who are.  These people are just looking for a place to belong and they feel like the Juggalo life is what fits best for them.  Some will grow out of it, and some won't.  It is what it is.  You can't judge people for what kind of music or lifestyle they lead because someone could judge you for the same.

    Jason

  • jeremy daniels

    First of all, not everyone who listens/listened to them were low life drug users.
    I was a die hard Juggalo from 1995-2005 and have seen the evolution of the "Juggalo" so to speak.

    I met a lot of quality people through this music scene. Some have stayed in it, while others like myself have grown out of it. There is absolutely NO racism involved with anyone in the Juggalo culture that I was ever aware of. It's hard for a group of fans, who embraced Tech N9ne so quickly , to be racist. That's just one example, but a majority of supporting acts over the year have all been (mostly has been early 90's rap groups) non-white.

    I was a follower of their 1st series of Jokers Cards and understood the idea they had behind it. However, their new material is a joke and it seems they have embraced their "most hated" title that they gave themselves and are rolling with it.

    I hate when people label them as "a gang" because most of these misguided kids who still follow them aren't mentally capable of pulling off any gang related activities.

    While I'm sure there are a few that have gone off the deep end and done some stupid stuff in the name of ICP/Juggalo ... it's not encouraged by those who have been around since the early days.

  • Dragyn169

    Jeremy, in terms of the "Juggalo" not being a "gang" you are sadly misinformed. The "Juggalos" happen to be a very large "Prison" gang. The all white gang is known for its viciousness and mayhem. They are extremely prone to violence and are a significant criminal elemant in many central and southern california citys.

  • BN

    People who enjoy ICP (I refuse to even give their group credence with a name) are people who like to do drugs, be (or pretend to be) ignorant, racist, sexist and small minded. Do a search for their lyrics and prove me wrong. These people like being bigots and substance abusers, and naturally they're drawn to music that tells them, "It's okay to be lazy, violent, do drugs and generally be a drain on society... because you're not wrong in doing so. Mainstream society is the one who's wrong for shunning you!" This music is incendiary; These people are drawn to it BECAUSE it shocks people and it get's them the attention that they so desperately crave.

  • TimSchmidt

    I lose a little more faith in humanity when I see these sad people who follow this worthless, mindless, lowlife garbage.

    Some Insane Clown lyrics:

    "House of Horrors"

    Bathroom?
    Yeah, it's right there down the hall
    Don't flush it though
    I'll make dinner for ya'll
    I'm possessed too

    "F*ck Off"
    All I wanna do i choke my b*tch
    Roll up a jimmy and smoke the b*tch
    I dropped out of school and quit my job
    All I wanna be is a fat, f*ckin slob

    By running this article and glamorizing their stupidity, I lost interest in your  website.

  • Tdv823

    Your ignorant you dumb f*ck. You can't even see behind the paint you mainstreamer! because you have scales on your eyes' just remember that this is our world so get the f*ck out and stay the f*ck out b*tch boy. F*ck the f*uck off!!!

  • mtomko

    ICP sprayed so much Faygo over the stage at the now defunct Galaxy in St. Louis that it caused a massive bug infestation. Needless to say, they never played The Galaxy again.

  • Jon Hall

    Faygo was the drink of choice in Southwest Detroit. It is a relatively inexpensive soda that is typically seen in low socioeconomic areas. It has a high sugar content and comes in very unique flavors, mostly resembling popular brands represented by Coke or Pepsi. Instead of Mountain Dew, they have Moonmist, etc. 

    At ICP concerts, it is sprayed on the audience using open-top buckets or SuperSoakers. It is not advised however to get any on your clothes as it will stain. (This is almost unavoidable at a ICP concert).

  • Iosaf Bennis

    i.e. the article above is quite strong on how the media portray a one-sided view of the Juggalos, but by editing out the drug related aspect of their lifestyle this photo-book has repeated the same error.

  • Iosaf Bennis

    Mmmmm ...I'm not sure about the sincerity of this 'show and tell' about the Juggalo's....
    ...it's my first time seeing any article on them & have no reason to identify with them or not identify with them.

    But showing them while editing out completely the open-drugs area, is just the same as showing only that area - without the photos shown here (which I agree are great in their own right)