What do you get when you combine copious amounts of face paint with wrestling, carnival-style shows, a lot of loud music and thousands of litres of Faygo soda? The first-ever Juggalo Weekend held in Canada, of course.
Thousands of Juggalos — the name given to ardent fans of the hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse (ICP) — converged in Calgary over the weekend for the two-day event at Marquee Beer Market.
"The whole Juggalo community is really a place where anyone of any race or gender can come together, have a great time and just enjoy themselves," said Kalman Goudkuil, owner of True Rhythm, which put on the event.
"That's something a lot of people from the outside don't understand until they actually come to one of these events."
- MORE CALGARY NEWS | Calgary teen's video project earns him trip to Vimy Ridge
- MORE CALGARY NEWS | Calgary success story George's Cream readies to enter Chinese market
Another thing Goudkuil says outsiders may find slightly odd is how happy the crowd gets when sprayed with Faygo, a type of soft drink popularized by ICP.
"They bring a lot of it, thousands and thousands of litres," he said. "And part of their show is dousing the fans, and fans love it. Everyone gets doused and at the end of the show you've got a good couple of inches of that stuff on the floor to clean up."
Adam Harris, who goes by the name Saint Tanic, has been a Juggalo for 20 years and says the face paint is about taking on a new persona.
"Lots of people do it to be somebody else," he said.
"Everyone wants to be someone else."
Fellow Juggalo Kevin Rempel, 30, who goes by the name Nemesis, said he grew up around the culture.
"It's a sense of camaraderie, friendship and family. Something I never had growing up was the friends and the family," he said.
"Now, I'm part of the biggest family in the world."
The Calgary event was similar, albeit smaller, to the annual Gathering of the Juggalos held in the U.S. each year, which now attracts up to 20,000 people.