Are People Posing as Alt-Weekly Reporters for Free Festival Tickets?

NUVO music editor Katherine Coplen informs us that people may be posing as reporters to get free tickets to the upcoming Gathering of the Juggalos festival. She writes:

A Juggalette has taken to being a NUVO impostor at the Gathering of the Juggalos. This has been going on several years, and is, by her confession, spread across many publications in multiple states.

I found this out when I applied for press access to the Gathering (don’t ask), and was informed someone from NUVO had already applied. [This person] has created a faux mail account (see below), allowing her access to the festival.

For those not familiar with the spectacle known as the Gathering of the Juggalos, here’s how Camille Dodero described it in her AAN-award-winning feature for the Village Voice:

The Gathering of the Juggalos is an annual summer pilgrimage for people who know they are among the most hated on earth. Nestled deep in the Illinois woods, the Gathering is “the biggest family reunion on the planet” for the “most misunderstood people of all time” (their superlatives). United for four days in one place from around the country, the Juggalos testify to conjuring a magical solidarity that is, according to one of the event’s inspirations, a 38-year-old father of two famously known as Violent J, “What I imagine it’s like for the Muslims to visit the Holy Land of Mecca.” Except here, there’s a Ferris wheel.

And a $175 cover charge. Which explains why some attendees might try to pose as reporters to get in. Coplen reached out to the gmail account, and received a surprisingly honest reply:

Okay so clearly you know I do not work or do any type of freelance work for Nuvo, sorry about that. However for the past three years Psychopathic has had a press inquiries tab on their website, so I have honestly been saying that I was freelance writer for Nuvo not necessarily to get press passes but basically not to have to pay to get in. It is one thing you will learn about Juggalos, we are ninjas like that and if we can find a loophole to not have to pay 175.00 per person not mention another 125.00 for a car pass then we do it.

She added that “a few of my homies from Ohio, and Utah do the same thing with a few of their local publications,” and extended an offer to Coplen:

What would be super cool is if you would maybe just let be on your list, and here is what I can offer this will be my 9th gathering of the Juggalos, so not only have I been going for 9 years but have been every year at Hog Rock Ranch since they moved it to there. I can show you the ropes of the place like a tour guide persay [sic], where everyone hangs, the drug bridge, the tents, the vendors, even where the hidden burrito man hangs, has the best burritos and food on the whole grounds.

This raises several questions: Are there other ninjas in our midst? Is there an army of festival attendees posing as alt-weekly reporters? And where does the hidden burrito man hang?

If you have answers to any of these questions, or have a similar story to share, we want to hear from you. jason[at]

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