Best Fest? Gathering of Shadows VS. Gathering of the Juggalos

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You, savvy music consumer, have a limited budget for your live music viewing experiences this Summer and you wanna make the most of your festival-going dollar. There are two festivals worth your consideration over the next few months, but you’ve only got so much dough and so many vacation days and so many hot pants to sustain you for a single fest. But which one do you choose? Will you attend Gathering of Shadows or the Gathering of the Juggalos? Let’s break it down.

Gathering of Shadows festival takes place June 2nd at a secret location in the Rocky Mountains. The lineup consists of 11 bands of wildly varying quality, from the excellent FIN to the lolworthy Weapönizer. The package is headlined by Colorado-based black metal band Nightbringer. A secret venue and black metal? Is this the fest of your dreams? The fest promised long from on high? Possibly! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

fucken BAD. ASS.

I’m a little bit wary of any music festival that prides itself on exclusivity. Call me an idealist, but I generally think live music is meant to be an open experience for the masses. Call me judgmental, but based on a recent interview with Decibel, I doubt I share too many ideological principles with headlining band Nightbringer. In the interview, Nightbringer navelgazed at length about many matters metaphysical and esoteric. One of the few clear answers in the interview mentioned that their latest record, Terra Damnata, features a spoken word interlude by Julius Evola. Art nerds among you may recognize that name for his dadaist paintings. Philosophy nerds among you may recognize Julius Evola for his advocacy of rape, fascism, and personal idolization and friendship with many in the Nazi SS. In the years since Evola’s death, his writing has been championed by human punch magnet Richard Spencer and walking disillusion of cocaine’s sexy image, Steve Bannon.

But there is potential still! Secrecy in the mountains? Dark experimental music? Exploration of the esoteric? Perhaps the weekend would be like cosplaying through Jodorowsky’s Holy Mountain. I wonder what we would all talk about? Let’s see, what do the Facebook attendees of this fest also enjoy?

lol

On the other end of the festival spectrum we’ve got the venerable Gathering of the Juggalos! For the first time in many years, the venerable festival for fans of Insane Clown Posse and assorted Psychopathic Records artists is changing locations. You can get down with the clown this July 26th through the 29th in Oklahoma City. Though full information about this year’s slate of performers and activities has has yet to be released, if years past Gatherings are any indication, the 2017 Gathering of the Juggalos will feature tons of horrorcore rappers, delicious deep-fried carnival food, and a whole assortment of rides, games, and sideshow attractions. The fest is a celebration of low culture and friendship that is refreshingly free of pretension.

Though it’s easy (and fun!) to make fun of Juaggalos, Leif, W., and I all recently attended an Insane Clown Posse show. We had a great time meeting the fans, seeing the performance, and getting utterly drenched in Faygo. If the Gathering is even half as fun as that single show, our recommendation is clear.

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  • Sid Vicious Promos

    Even though I’m not an ICP fan I’d pick the Gathering. Not only do they have everything mentioned but there’s also Bloodymania which is their version of Wrestlemania. Raven has shown up as well as Scott Hall, Sabu and Sid Vicious.

    • KJM, Dr. Disco

      Yep, I’d go for the wrestling.

  • Dang it, I bought a Nightbringer shirt at MDF last year

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      Eh, like I said above all three writers mentioned as an “influence” wrote occultism, hermeticism and tantra, which seems a far more likely influence than Evola’s fascist shit.

      • The Wolf

        Mind you race did play a large part in Evola’s occultism, though so did misogyny. That said I haven’t read any of the source material so it’s hard to say what might be “interesting” that could be cherry picked out from his racial/gender attitudes. I think you’re right though that in the case of an occult/hermertic band citing Evola along with two other occultists that racial policies might not really be their concern… maybe they are, but one of us would have to ask them (unlike everyone jumping to conclusions).

    • RJA

      Randall’s a NAZI! Randall’s a NAZI!

      • It’s too late for me, save yourself!

        • RJA

          I’m throwing out my Nightbringer records as we speak!

    • The Wolf

      At least that’s better than still having a Craft shirt I’ll never bother to wear. Fuck did that set suck,

  • Freedom Jew

    I’d pick the Gathering based solely on the fact that many of the people there will merely be morons instead of reprehensible beings created out of excrement that barely get to be called human.

    So, give me the Juggalos.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/425dc89855d4ac3645f611c21ad7dcb735f5e769b72bd96b5dde50b3471363c3.jpg

    • CyberneticOrganism

      But all that meth…

      • Freedom Jew

        Still better than the alternative.

        • CyberneticOrganism

          True. There really should be more metal fests in the woods, though. Metal and trees go together like me and huge firearms.

          https://s.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/midas/b19901057672913e28383cc0b4c6b580/204024541/4_MiniGun.gif

          • Stockhausen

            Backed.

          • Freedom Jew

            I’d like to announce the Swinging Bat Festival 2017, taking place somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, tba. Bring your own bat.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Aww, I only have a board with a nail in it.

          • Freedom Jew

            If it identifies as a bat, it’s a bat. No problem.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Sweeeeet 👍

          • Guppusmaximus

            I was all like…Bats don’t swing. *duh*

          • GoatForest

            I have a crowbar…

    • KJM, Dr. Disco

      I’m sure there are plenty of people at the Gathering who are not full fledged juggalos, doubtful you could say that about the equivalent at the other fest.

    • GoatForest

      The sad thing is that Nightbringer are top notch black metal, and though I am very deep into black metal, I don’t think think I could handle that many pretentious goons and fascist nutbars.
      Gathering of the Juggalos is most certainly a superior fest.

  • Grvm Spectre ov Derth

    Are we sure you won’t get covered in gross fluids at Gathering of the Juggalos? They do spray Faygo on their crowds

    • Just Hans

      I think the X just means it’s a con at both events. Was confused though.

  • Eliza

    I’d rather stay at home.

    • C’mon Eliza, it’s important to get out and experience new sights! And, uh, smells.

      • Eliza

        When you only have yourself to go out with, why even bother?

        • Aww, hey now, sometimes the destination is enough by itself. I’ve been going to shows and stuff by myself for about 4 years now since I left my hometown, it hasn’t made the experience worthless.

          • Eliza

            I’m just really lazy, lol.

          • OH PSSSSSHHHHHHHHHH

        • KJM, Dr. Disco

          I go to shows by myself a lot these days. Most of my old friends have either moved or are disabled.

          • Eliza

            And what is it like?

          • KJM, Dr. Disco

            I have a good time. Being alone doesn’t really bother me especially if I have something fun to do. Keep in mind going to shows in my area is only slightly harder than going to the corner store for milk. There usually isn’t a lot of traveling involved.

          • NDG

            I go to heaps of shows by myself…no biggie. I went to an all-day fest-type thing on the weekend without any friends. I assumed a heap would be going but as the show approached and I started asking around it turned out it was only me attending.

            All good, I got there at about 5pm and the last band finished up at 1am. I saw a few people I know but spent most of the time by myself. It was enjoyable.

        • Dumpster Lung

          I do prefer going to shows with a friend, but I’ve been to more and more lately on my own. It can be a great way to make new friends. That, or even if no lasting connection is made, it’s usually not hard to strike up conversation with other concertgoers between bands and all that. Then sometimes you run into the same people a few times over the course of several months and end up being friends anyway. Who knows?

          • Eliza

            I’m incredibly awkward when it comes to real life conversations, so I don’t think this could work.

          • Dumpster Lung

            Always possible for things to get awkward, but then again, if it’s a metal show, it ought to mostly be people well-acquainted with awkwardness 😛

        • Dumpster Lung

          Also, there are some genres I only really dig all that much live. Drone or super slow funeral doom? I appreciate the idea, but never make time to listen to it on my own. In concert it’s a lot better though, in my opinion anyway. So it’s nice to just enjoy things differently than you might otherwise.

  • Wet W’s Whistle

    Point for Shadows: I suspect there will be better beer available at the black metal show than at Juggalocon

    • Stockhausen

      Strong point.

      • Freedom Jew

        Only point.

    • p sure you can bring whatever the fuck you want with you to the Gathering of the ‘los. If your beer selection sucks it’s your own pleb fault.

      • Sid Vicious Promos

        That is true from what I’ve read.

      • Guppusmaximus

        Beat me to it…:P

      • Wet W’s Whistle

        Wait, really? Belay that point, then.

        • Sid Vicious Promos

          People bring everything and anything. I’ve read articles about it and how they had a place called the Drug Bridge where you can buy any drug you want.

          • Mosh Hoff

            MUSIC is my DRUG

          • also drugs

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Drugs are my OTHER drug

          • My other drug is also a drug

          • CyberneticOrganism

            The other drugs are also cursed

          • KJM, Dr. Disco

            I’ll just have some frogurt.

          • Just Hans

            Guess what that’s laced with.

          • KJM, Dr. Disco

            As long as it isn’t cursed.

          • Wet W’s Whistle

            My other car is your drug!

            Wait, did I do that right?

          • CyberneticOrganism
          • Deceased Local Motor Scooter Champion’s Family Suing Toilet Ov Hell . Com Editor Due To Poor Joke Formulation, Esteemed President Imitator Disappointed.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Little much to read when you’re on drugs 🙂

      • Guppusmaximus

        Plus, you don’t have to pay for a six pack and only get one beer

  • Mosh Hoff

    dude but the riffs

  • Stockhausen

    A great many black metal butts burst into flame the second this was published. I love it (even though I totally want to go to Gathering of the Shadows).

    • Wet W’s Whistle

      Long-neck giraffes and pet cats and dogs!

      • Mosh Hoff

        AND I DON’T NEED TO TALK TO A SCI-EN-TIST
        THOSE MOTHAFUKKAS LYIN’
        AND GETTIN’ ME PISSED

        • Sid Vicious Promos

          What about chemists or people who make meth?

        • Wet W’s Whistle

          I fed a fish to a pelican at Frisco Bay. It tried to eat my cellphone.

          He ran away.

      • Whats that track you posted awhile back that you listened to before the ICP shown with Joe?

        • Wet W’s Whistle

          Was it Miracles, the one we’re quoting?

    • Eliza

      Why have do even go to school for when the answers are all here?

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    At first glance this might seem like a no brainer. Though you’ll have to sit through tons of plain done-100.000-times-before-by-about-100.000-other-bands black metal at GoS, at least you’ll always have a few shining spots music-wise and you’ll always have Nightbringer; while on the other hand the complete line-up of GotJ probably blows horse dick.
    However, for some reason ICP fans seem like a more outgoing bunch than your average black metal addict…

  • One point both festivals share in common will be an abundance of silly face paint.

    • Eliza

      Maybe, one day, both the ICP and black metal fandoms will put aside their differences and unite in one giant face paint extravaganza.

      • Wet W’s Whistle

        Can I choose that fest?

        • Eliza

          We all want to choose that fest.

          • KJM, Dr. Disco

            You’ll all want to come on down to KJM’s Stoner Doom/Hip-Hop Jamboree!!!

          • Eliza

            Yes, yes we do.

          • KJM, Dr. Disco

            Hopefully I’ll get to make it happen someday.

      • I can imagine how it would go down. It’s beautiful.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMNry4PE93Y

      • Abbath and ICP should get that ball rolling with a 🔥🔥🔥 mixtape.

  • xengineofdeathx

    I’d probably go to GOJ, for the lack of pretension like Joe mentioned… I imagine it being like a more white trash version of Gwar. Would rather get soaked in Faygo then be around a bunch of probably Nazis, or hipsters wearing Burzum shirts trying to earn scene cred. Plus, Rafael Lavato has a school in OKC, maybe I could get in a roll or two.

  • The stories you’d get from going to the Gathering of the Juggalos would be far better than going to that other one.

  • I am all about being around people who do not take themselves/others around them too seriously. I would have to vote GOJ over Metal Snooter Mountain Fest.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Considering that Evola like the two other men mentioned in the same breath all wrote about Hermetism, occultism and tantra, more likely Nightbringer’s got nothing to do with NSBM. At all.

    • In that case the fest sounds like a barrel of laughs and not at all like a crowd of no fun club dorks.

      • BRO WE WERE JUST ABOUT TO GRAB SOME CLOAKS AND DRAW A PENTACLE IN MIKE’S BASEMENT, WANNA COME CHANT OVER IT ALL NIGHT WITH US?

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        Lol, you got me there.

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        Lol, you got me there.
        …I’m a little afraid of juggalos though, I think I’d choose myself a good old fashioned No Fun, No Mosh, No Core safe space.

    • According to a friend more familiar with the junk, they use a lot of imagery assocaited with the order of nine angles, which has very strong ties with nazism

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_Nine_Angles#Aeonic_Cosmology_and_Nazism

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        Am familiar with ONA -satanists, I’ll have to see about the imagery – haven’t payed that close attention apparently.
        As with the Evola -influence, wouldn’t be surprised if there were underlying sympathies for people of this ilk. But so far, nothing seems like they’re influenced by much anything except occultism.
        (Tho, like I said, have to see about that imagery)

        • Yeah reading this stuff is kind of frightening, but also almost certainly limited to angry dudes on the internet. I can find no evidence that they have ever actually instigated violence or murdered anyone (their texts apparently encourage human sacrifice, lol)

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            ONA is super shitty. And also annoying because idiots confuse them with other, better organizations.

          • Leif Bearikson

            The Order of the Nine Angels

        • GoatForest

          Yeeesh. I hope they’re not with those clowns. That’d be very dissapointing. I fucking loathe the ONA.

    • GoatForest

      I always got more of a mystical death worshipping vibe from them than any sort of political ideology. I hope you’re right.

  • I’d go to Gathering of The Juggalos to see Stitches and get fake cocaine thrown at me.
    https://youtu.be/8i5jM6GHFlY

  • Speaking of Fin, their new LP sounds fucking hellacious !

    Woot

  • Doc Torluv

    Either way the Coulro sapiens on the stage are gonna ruin it. “Funny” Rapclowns or “Evil” Demonclowns, my disdain for both will keep me from either. But I’d still pick the ICP fest if pressured.

  • GoatForest

    Nightbringer’s association with Evola is very disappointing.

  • KJM, Dr. Disco
  • RJA

    I find this to be a tough decision – the pretentiousness is a bit much to handle BUT, blastbeats!

    • RJA

      Plus Colorado vs. Oklahoma!

      • Wet W’s Whistle

        Colorado >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Oklahoma

        • more beer

          In every possible way.

  • Dumpster Lung

    The Nightbringer/Julius Evola thing is really interesting. Kind of irritating how the Decibel interview gets that and then does not dig into that at all. Maybe the interviewer wasn’t aware of who he was and added that note after Googling him (that’s what I’d do, admittedly. I wouldn’t have known the name either), but man that’s unfortunate. I’d much rather hear why and get to the core of it.

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      Or figured, since he’s mentioned with two other occulstists, they’ve been reading his works regarding that. Not the nazi crap.

      • Dumpster Lung

        Right. Either way, it would have been cool to follow up on that or mention it and see what they said. I don’t like all the fascist witch-hunting lately, but I also don’t like fascist surprises either 😛

        • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

          Oh yeah. Honestly, I just don’t think the interviewer recognized the name and didn’t bother to check up. Would’ve been cool to ask the band about that thing right there.

          • Dumpster Lung

            Yeah, that’s probably it. Would be cool if there was a way around that without stopping the conversation to Google some shit on a phone in the middle of it hahaha

      • GoatForest

        Plus, one can appreciate some aspects of a writer’s work and not others. I keep thinking of Milton and Nietzsche.

  • Shakes 999

    Gathering of Juggalos had a solid festival lineup for years and people have finally been starting to notice. There’s damn near something for everyone.

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    Honestly, I think friendly and fun can be mixed blessings.

  • more beer
    • GoatForest

      Nice. All those grind bands… it’ll be total chaos. 🙂

      • more beer

        Yea it should be a pretty fun weekend. I am going down to that with a bunch of friends.

    • Wet W’s Whistle

      If I wasn’t in transit to NC then, I would definitely go!

      • more beer

        Pretty good lineup. I am looking forward to seeing Gatecreeper and The Drip for sure. Hey you have to do what you have to do.

  • The Wolf

    So Nightbringer is playing MDF in like two weeks. Interested to see if people actually try to protest or get the band kicked off for name dropping.