Insane Clown Posse Fest Draw 10,000 Fans, Troubles

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August 12, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Dispatchers and deputies in Illinois's Hardin County have their hands full this week, as more than 10,000 Insane Clown Posse fans converge on the Hog Rock campgrounds located in the southern tip of the state.

Sheriff Lloyd Cullison says the Gathering of the Juggalos just started Wednesday (Aug. 10), and already things have gotten violent, WSIL-TV, Carterville, reported.

"We had a fight in Cave in Rock, four of them, five of them had already come in early and got in a fight, so we had to take one of them to the hospital," Cullison explained.

According to the sheriff, officers have made more than 20 arrests within the first 24 hours of the event. Some were for weapons possession, many were for drugs, including the owner of a fake Coca-Cola can.

"That was full of marijuana," said the sheriff.

Juggalo Keith Roche says the Gathering is supposed to be about love and companionship. But when you have 10,000 people in one place, there will be problems.

"It only takes one person to mess it up for the rest of us," Roche admitted. "But at the same time, it takes everyone else to put them in line. So as much as it's their fault for acting up, it's our fault for letting them, that's how I look at it."

Aerial view of the Hog Rock Campground where this week's musical festival is underway in southern Illinois. The Ohio River is at top of photo.

But as Cullison went out to patrol on Thursday, radio traffic indicated that arrests kept piling up. At one point there were over 10 people being held at the Hardin County Jail, but it's maximum capacity is only six people. The other thing adding up fast is payroll, because the sheriff has to add around a dozen officers for the week to make sure everything is covered.

"I'm going to spend $6,000 in payroll the next week, and so it's just killing us," said Cullison.

Especially because the county is already on a bare-bones budget. The sheriff says it's worse, because they won't see any kind of payment from the event itself. And the sales tax revenue is minimal, so the county will lose thousands of dollars this week.

"It's just a no win situation for us financially," the sheriff said.

On the bright side, state police have set up shop near the campground, providing free assistance to deputies. Aside from that, a few local departments have donated riot gear to Hardin County, just in case they have to go into the event to make an arrest or keep the peace.

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