In quarantine, shut out from such Gathering of the Juggalos delicacies such as Faygo showers and Lake Hepatitis, what’s a Juggalo to do? The answer is probably going to be similar to the one that members of any given aesthetic subculture might give, whether the example is drag queens or debutantes. You carry on with the dress-up when in need of a pick-me-up. You try to stay connected with your chosen family, online. You trust that your leaders are going to help rally you in that effort.
On that last count, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope have delivered. There are pandemic-era cooking videos (“Shaggy Goes HAM on Ham!”). There’s a new Cameo-like app on which fans can (albeit for a fee) commission shout-outs from Violent J, Shaggy 2 Dope, and other band affiliates. ICP has donated band T-shirts to be repurposed as masks. It’s put together a pandemic-themed playlist to help keep the party rolling. And it’s canceled the all-important gathering with a heartfelt-seeming note emphasizing the community’s safety. “The bottom line is simply that we REFUSE to risk even ONE Juggalo life by hosting a Gathering during these troubling times,” the band’s announcement reads. The message is simple: You cannot have a carnival of carnage without healthy carnies.