Due to a series of drug overdoses at last week’s Gathering of the Juggalos from August 7th to August 11th in Cave-in-Rock, Illinois, the infamous drug marketplace at the festival was officially closed. Juggalos are group of fans of Insane Clown Posse or any other Psychopathic Records group. The festival, now in its fourteenth year, is described by its organizers as “unlike anything you have ever experienced before.” Musical performers at the five-day festival included the entire Psychopathic Records roster as well as over one hundred rappers and bands on the event’s multiple stages. In addition to the musical element, the festival also features a series of sideshows, competitions, parties, seminars, autograph signings, and wrestling events.
Although there were several overdoses reported at the festival in the days leading up to it, festival organizers didn’t decide to fully close the “drug bridge” until the death of a male guest on Saturday. The man has now been identified as Cory Collins, 24, from the local area. While the official cause of death has not yet been announced, it is believed that he suffered a heroin overdose.
The “drug bride” is an open-air marketplace for recreational drugs at the festival. Staff and security at the festival make an effort to search cars entering the festival grounds for contraband, but generally turn a blind eye to drug use. In an interview with the Houston Press, Mike Wilson, the security guard in charge of preventing guests from walking across the drug bridge stated, “I have had to look the other way a few times, but mostly these kids are just having fun. No one is violent or even rude.” To prevent people from accessing the bridge, two semis were parked to block the entrances.
Drug Bridge Before:
After its closing:
To learn more about the festival and the Juggalos who attend, check out this documentary filmed at a prior Gathering.