ST. LOUIS (AP) — Just two weeks ago, organizers of the yearly festival headlined by the rap-metal Insane Clown Posse announced that the multiday concert event would be staged at a mid-Missouri campground after seven years of sometimes sketchy times in southern Illinois.
But it appears that folks around the CryBaby Campground near Kaiser, Mo., didn't want any part of the so-called Gathering of the Juggalos, a moniker for the band's fans, who'll have to wait again to hear where the show lands.
Psychopathic Records, the Insane Clown Posse duo's Detroit-area promoters, announced that CryBaby Campground's operators have withdrawn from hosting the event, citing a backlash from locals worried about the several-day gathering marked over the years by unruliness, drug overdoses, fights, arrests and deaths.
In a posting on its website, Psychopathic said owners of the campground on a 300-acre family farm near Kaiser, about 170 miles west of St. Louis, had embraced the Juggalos since last month's signing of the contract to host the event.
But many in that area "began to raise hell" about the prospect of the August event coming to Kaiser — "enough to bring a lot of heat to the owners of the campground," according to Psychopathic's posting. Some threatened to boycott the campground, making for "just too much of an onslaught of negative energy coming at (CryBaby's proprietors) to handle."
"They really tried to make this work but with (the) threat of their business suffering long after we have left, it's understandable why they chose to do what they did," Psychopathic wrote.
Psychopathic said people who already have purchased tickets or rented a CryBaby campsite will get full refunds as the gathering's organizers pursued what was called their "Plan B" of a couple of new potential sites they say they already have identified. Those locations haven't been made public.
A message left Thursday with Psychopathic Records spokesman Jason Webber wasn't immediately returned. Attempts to reach CryBaby's operators were not successful.
Psychopathic had said the Missouri site, near the Osage River would offer an experience similar to what Hogrock Campground in southern Illinois offered the last seven years. But CryBaby Campground also has amenities the Illinois location lacked, including cellphone reception and nearby hotels and shops, the promoters said.
It was not immediately clear whether Hogrock again would be an option for hosting the next gathering. A message left with that campground Thursday wasn't returned.
Publicized trouble at recent gatherings has sullied the reputation of the get-togethers.
In 2010, fans pelted actress Tila Tequila with stones, bottles and feces, and a fan was stabbed. One attendee drowned the following year while trying to swim in the nearby Ohio River. And last year, a 24-year-old fan, Cory Collins, of Harrisburg, Ill., was found dead on the festival's grounds, where dozens of attendees were arrested on drug-related and disorderly conduct charges.
The festival organizers considered the site in Missouri's Miller County appropriate and undeserving of scrutiny, noting that the motorcycle club Hell's Angels had convened there twice before. Yet it also had the makings for a culture shock in rural Missouri, where the sheriff, Bill Abbott, recently asked a reporter if the festival would feature Willie Nelson-style music.
Sheriff's Capt. Louie Gregory said the department would have been ready to handle the festival and its fans.
"We researched them," Gregory said. "We were learning new stuff every day."