SXSW Panel: "Juggalos To Phish-Heads"

Categories: SXSW, Whatever

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Craig Hlavaty
This is the first year we are attempting to forgo the day parties, full of free booze and music, to take in some of the informative panels offered by SXSW in the Austin Convention Center. It's not easy walking past day parties foisting beer and burritos on you, but we are doing it.

The first panel we sat in on (that didn't include Jewel's cleavage) was "Juggalos To Phish-Heads: Managing Fanatical Music Consumers". Obviously know by now that we are partial to one of those groups in the title more than the other, seeing how much we have covered the adventures Insane Clown Posse and Houston's rabid Juggalo community.

The talk was moderated by Amy Miller who is with Ticketfly, billed as "Ticketmaster's biggest competition" and one of their first big operations was a past Phish ticketing program. Also on the dais was Ethan Kaplan, who is best known for his R.E.M. mega-fan site murmurs.com.

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Miller illustrated what a Juggalo was through a few pictures and YouTube video from a past Gathering Of The Juggalos, which drew snickers and shock from some of the more genteel attendees. We did a slight "woop woop" under our breath, which we tried to make audible.

The four-person panel discussed horror stories involving rabid fanbases online and in the real world offline, from suicidal fans to the inherent anger that comes with beloved bands making career choices that some of their flock don't agree with.

Also most interesting was the point that Not Shocking's Corey Denis brought up, remarking that most people who are hellacious devotees of a band, the people who sell family heirlooms for B-sides and posters, are all narcissists. They see themselves in a band, be it lyrical content or image, and therefore will defend them to the last letter, as if the band is a child or loved one.

Cool stuff, and we didn't leave with a hangover. More panels to come this week.



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10 comments
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Bryan_rzoska
Bryan_rzoska

i am almost 33 years old and my wife will b 38 this year and we r juggalos.

Secondborn
Secondborn

Yeah, I don't see Juggalos going anywhere. Comparing Juggalos to deadheads doesn't piss people off. It's pretty much true. Being a Juggalo myself, I can honestly say that I am a die hard fan. What makes me irritated more than anyhting is when people compare Juggalos as being the same thing as"Goths" or whatever. Being "Goth" is a phase, being a Juggalo to me is eternal. The best way it was explained to me in a way that made sense was "People who say 'Yeah, I used to be a Juggalo' were never truly Juggalos. You either are or you never were. You were a fan at that point." Which being a fan, is not a bad thing. At least people who are fans and not necessarily Juggalos have the open mind to accept and appreciate the type of music psychopathic puts out. I love my Juggalo Family!

Amazing Gus
Amazing Gus

I used to be a juggalo...and you say that i never was. well your wrong there. i used to think the same exact thoughts as you did, once your down that your down for ever. I'm not against icp, i'm just not a juggalo anymore. I have painted my face before, had juggalo friends. I memorized like half of the whole icp directory lyrics. (which was a mistake, cause it's useless to me now) i had every single icp song there was, including all of the remixes, and a bunch of other remixes. But something snapped, and i reallized how silly I looked.

Armydude441
Armydude441

" "People who say 'Yeah, I used to be a Juggalo' were never truly Juggalos. You either are or you never were. You were a fan at that point." Which being a fan, is not a bad thing.""

I'm going to have to call malarkey on that one, my friend. I was a juggalo from age 10, until about age 18. In that time I was one of those "Die-hard juggalo kids". I believed in all of that family, and carnival crap (I believe in what the carnival stands for, but not the euphemisms they use to display it). I have the tattoos, the merch, and the memories of past concerts/gatherings that really meant to me that I was a juggalo. All of my friends were juggalos, and most of the intelligent ones still are.

But after a while you just need to grow up. That's exactly what I did. I became an adult, I realized there was more to life then just fighting kids, doing drugs, and wearing ICP shit to scare the public off. Most importantly I realized that being a Juggalo has NOTHING to do with family. Because that 1 juggalo that might help you out in a fight has 30 juggalo friends that are trying to rob you at the same time. If you've never been to a gathering do yourself a favor, and don't go. Or go, and have your entire wig flipped.

Being a "Juggalo" is a way of life for kids. It's a way to label themselves for one another. But into my 20's now I don't run around whooping at people, or paint my face, and I rarely even wear my merch (Except for my hatchetman, that has never left my neck, or the forearm it's tattooed to.). But at the same time I do realize that the REAL family atmosphere is being together in likeness. Unfortunately as years pass that only gets worse, and worse as well.

In closing, there really is no difference. And even ICP has said the same thing. There's no difference between a fan, or a juggalo, if you're going to represent the hatchet by coming to a show, or buying merch, or even bumping their tunes in your ride, YOU ARE A JUGGALO. THE WORLD IS FULL OF JUGGALOS THAT DON'T EVEN KNOW IT!

Jeff Mace
Jeff Mace

Juggalos are more of a "passing fad" than Phish, and not nearly as musical (which is fine). Their following seems to be a bit more obnoxious as well. Comparing Phish fans with Deadheads irks the hell out of Phans, but it is a bit more appropriate than the apples/oranges comparison offered here. I'd be interested in having sat in on the forum to see what the info was.

Illmynd
Illmynd

I don't think you can call 20 years and counting a "passing fad." Just saying...

Briank
Briank

phish is horrible. Their so called fans go just for the drugs

John
John

Been drug free all my life, and have listened to Psychopathic for fourteen years. Nice labeling though! Makes me wonder if you would talk shit about a juggalo when they where around, better make sure you know your crowd, they have been here for more than two decades and have a fan base of millions. But you stick with what you hear because im sure its all accurate. ;-)

Black Majik Dro
Black Majik Dro

Naw Juggalos are more die hard fans of their music than Phish and sound completely better (in my opinion anyway). Trust me when I say Juggalos are not a passing fad. We are here to stay until the end.

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