There was a lot of bullshit that went on at the 2017 Gathering. The cops were being dickheads for the most part, like riding through the grounds in convoys of golf carts and just generally intimidating people. There wasn’t even any nudity because the cops were cracking down on that shit, and everyone was saying that you could be arrested just for showing boobs. In my experience, the cops at Legend Valley and Hog Rock were there more or less just to keep people safe, but unless you were being a complete dumbass then they pretty much stayed out of your face. But the Oklahoma City cops were just giving people a hard time over nothing, like making people walk A LONG distance–like 30 minutes, if I recall correctly–just to get from the grounds to the parking long. There was a street you could cross to take you to the parking lot in like 5 minutes, but GOTJ staff were warning Juggalos that the OKC cops were writing tickets and taking wristbands for jaywalking. I don’t know if they actually did or not since I haven’t personally spoken with anyone who had their wristband taken, but just the threat of it was enough to tell you about the cops’ intimidation tactics.
There was also a noise ordinance that the cops used to shut down the RA The Rugged Man set on the late night stage, which was total news to everyone when it happened. Even RA The Rugged Man was baffled at what the fuck was going on. If the cops were really just enforcing a noise ordinance and NOT trying to fuck with Juggalos, would they wait until zero hour to pull the plug like that? Wouldn’t they give the staff a heads up earlier that afternoon so that there would be time to make an arrangement? Psychopathic could’ve easily rejiggered the schedule to make sure RA did more than 30 minutes that night if they had the chance. The fact is that the OKC cops WANTED to fuck with Juggalos because they had a problem with us being there. Things like that had everyone yelling, “FUCK OKLAHOMA” for the entire 4 days.
Here’s my issue: I’m from Oklahoma and have lived here all my life. The Gathering was just a 2 hour drive for me and in the months leading up to it, I was hoping that Oklahoma would prove to be good hosts. I never thought about the cops; I was more concerned about bible beating protestors. I’ve never had any issues with the cops; they usually hang out outside of Juggalo concerts just to make sure there’s no ruckus, but I’ve never seen them hassling anyone in the line just for being a Juggalo. Hell, two of my closest friends are cops and they’ve never given off any kind of anti-Juggalo feelings (sidebar: they are both fans of The Wraith, which they had heard through me). I don’t know any OKC cops, but I never imagined they would hate Juggalos as much as they apparently did. Now I know better, but even though it was just a few dickhead cops causing problems for everyone, I still see Juggalos shouting “FUCK OKLAHOMA” all the time.
It’s not the whole state of Oklahoma; it’s just one police force in one city. Saying “FUCK OKLAHOMA” now is like someone saying “FUCK JUGGALOS” just because a Juggalo fucked their sister, or something. Oklahoma has been a VERY Juggalo friendly state, and ICP/Twiztid/Tech N9ne/etc concerts always do very well here. Hell, Tech N9ne is usually here 1-3 times per year. Oklahoma Juggalos are legit; we’re just as annoyed (or more) as anyone about all the bs that went on at the Gathering. And even with that bs, it was still a great time. Don’t let the douche bag cops in OKC taint your view of the entire state. Frankly I hope we have ANOTHER Gathering here just so we have a chance at redemption! I know if that were to happen then you’d hear Juggalos shouting “FUCK OKLAHOMA” again, but I think we can win you back as long as the cops agree to chill out.
If you want to say “FUCK OKLAHOMA” because it was hot as balls, or because of the dust, or because of the fire ants, or because of the fact that some weird law stopped there from being blood at JCW, then I understand that. But don’t judge the people here. We’ve got a lot of great Juggalos.