CAVE-IN-ROCK — Though a location has yet to be disclosed, next year’s Gathering of the Juggalos will not be at Cave-In-Rock, a spokesman for the event’s producer said.
“I can confirm that it is not going to be at Hogrock next year, but I do not have any other information,” said Jason Webber of Psychopathic Records Inc.
Asked if the event would be in Southern Illinois, Webber said he was not at liberty to say. He also said he did not have information on why the change in venue was occurring.
The Michigan-based record company produces The Gathering through its subsidiary, Juggalo Gathering Inc.
The Gathering features the two-member rap group Insane Clowne Posse, which Tweeted last week that a new location for the five-day event has been found.
“Jumpsteady just returned from our brand new Gathering site …,” the Tweet said. Jumpsteady is Robert Bruce, a rapper and the brother of Joseph Frank Bruce, also known as Violent J of Insane Clowne Posse. The other member of the group is Joseph William Utsler, or Shaggy 2 Dope.
The Tweet did not disclose the new location.
According to several reports, Joseph Bruce and Utsler also co-founded Psychopathic Records, which recently filed a lawsuit against the FBI for defamation after the agency tabbed Juggalos as a criminal gang.
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A 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment from the FBI said sub-sets of the group were known for criminal activity.
The five-day music event, which attracted about 10,000 people each year, has been held at the Hogrock Campgrounds at Cave-In-Rock since 2007 and in that time has seen its share of deaths, fights, overdoses and arrests.
Last year, state Reps. Brandon Phelps and John Bradley sponsored legislation to add an amusement tax to festivals to help counties pay for increased public service costs related to shows, but the legislation never made it to the General Assembly floor for a vote.
At the time, it was estimated it cost Hardin County $20,000 to cover expenses related to events at Hogrock. Illinois State Police also expended resources at Hogrock.
Those events included an annual biker rally and The Gathering. Other adult-themed parties are hosted at the privately owned campground, as well.
Phone calls and emails to the campground for comment on The Gathering’s relocation were not returned.
Though a strain on police and ambulance services, The Gathering has also been known for pumping money into the local business sector.
However, a new problem emerged after this year’s Gathering when vendors complained they were not paid or had received bad checks from the event’s producers amounting to more than $300,000 owed.
One of those checks, in the amount of $5,000, was written to the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department as a donation to buy equipment, but it too bounced, Sheriff Jerry Fricker said. No purchases were made until the check cleared, which has yet to happen, he added.
“I was surprised they wrote it for that amount, but you know the rest of the story, bad check,” Fricker said.
Webber, of Psychopathic Records, said he had no information regarding vendor payments. The company issued a statement in September stating cost overruns led to delayed payments and that the company was working to fulfill its financial obligations.
One vendor, Event-Tex owner Patrick Gail, said the two sides have reached a settlement on the $54,000 that he had previously claimed was owed to his company. He said he could not comment further under terms of the agreement.