Insane Clown Posse's Annual Gathering Festival Underfire From Local Church Group

Leaders from a church in the rural town of Cave-In-Rock, Illinois are attempting to ban a festival hosted by rap/rock group Insane Clown Posse.

The group's 8th annual "Gathering of the Juggalos" takes place at Hatchet Landings from Aug. 9-12 in Cave-In-Rock and is sponsored by Psychopathic Records, the successful independent label helmed by group members Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope.

The 2007 Gathering features performances by rappers like Haystacks, Necro (his debut at the festival), Boondox, The Insane Clown Posse and numerous others.

The local Shawnee Ministerial Alliance is attempting to ban the event out of fear that their fans, or "Juggalos" would ''get out and terrorize the community.''

According to the Associated Press, church leaders met with a representative from U.S. Congressman John Shimkus' office to expresstheir concerns, although the festival is expected to take place without issues.

Local police will seek extra assistance in securing the event, drawing extra help from the State Police, as well as police from surrounding counties.

Promoters for the event have cooperated with local officials to ensure a safe gathering as well.

''I think it's more rowdy than violent, but they do sing violent lyrics and that's got us concerned," County Sheriff Tom Seiner told the Associated Press. "Most of the places they've been before have been pretty big communities; here it's pretty rural and we've got a small police force."

The group has come under fire for criminal acts perpetrated by their fans, also known as Juggalos and Juggalettes.

In one highly publicized incident in 2006, a group of professed "Juggalos" - including one in the group's signature clown make-up - robbed visitors at Fort Steilacoom Park in Seattle with machetes and other weapons.

Authorities sought at least ten people in connection with the assaults and eventually charged two men and a woman in the attacks, which seriously injured a total of 23 people.

In addition to the performances, the Gathering will feature wrestling battle royale known as BloodyMania, a stage with an open mic known as The Bomb House, Juggalo Night Court, Foxy Boxing and a special section called the "Big Baller Camping Area" for V.I.P.'s that features "Baller Electricity" and "Baller Water."

The band is also enforcing rules for their fans on their official website, to ensure another safe festival.

"Every camper should respect the space and privacy of the campers around his/her tent," the band wrote on their website. "This is your Juggalo family, and we expect you to act like family."