Split Decision

Fan to Insane Clown Posse: See You in Court, and in My Dreams

A Texas fan is suing the band, claiming she was injured by a bottle of Faygo soda thrown from a concert stage. But just to be clear, she swears she’s still a loyal fan.

A Texas woman wants the Insane Clown Posse to know she’s still a fan, even though she is suing them for allegedly throwing a full two-liter bottle of Faygo soda directly into her eye.

“D. Darling,” as she is referenced in her lawsuit, remains fond of the face-painted, horrorcore hip-hop group famous for its cult following and its dedication to Faygo soda. For over a decade, Insane Clown Posse has poured the Detroit company’s soda over concertgoers, even canceling a 2016 show when a concert venue objected to the soda-spraying. But during an October 2015 concert in Dallas, Texas, Darling allegedly found herself on the receiving end of a stray Faygo bottle as it rocketed offstage and struck her in the eye, detaching her retina.

While being splashed with soda is part of the Insane Clown Posse experience, getting hit in the face with a full Faygo bottle is not part of the deal, Darling’s attorney argues in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in a Dallas County court. Darling is seeking unspecified damages from the Insane Clown Posse and their label Psychopathic Records, as well as Texas Entertainment Services, which managed the concert venue.

Like most fans at the Insane Clown Posse show in Dallas’s South Side Ballroom that night, Darling knew the band might pour bottles of Faygo from the stage. The Insane Clown Posse sings about Faygo in multiple songs, and the beverage has become a running joke for the band’s fans, who call themselves “juggalos” and drink the soda at their annual gatherings. Darling tried to stay outside the splash zone at the concert, deliberately standing away from the stage area, her suit claims.

But in the relatively small concert venue, the soda was hard to escape. Social media posts from that night showed the group dousing the crowd with large bottles of shaken soda. One video from the concert appears to show the band flinging at least three bottles into the crowd over the space of several seconds. And when the band began showering the crowd with confetti, Darling moved forward to catch some of the falling paper.

Then an insane clown disaster struck. While Darling was reaching for the confetti, something heavier allegedly flew into the audience.

“Plaintiff’s friend, who attended the concert with her, witnessed what appeared to be a full two-liter bottle of soda violently flung from the stage, striking Plaintiff in the eye socket,” her suit reads. “Plaintiff’s eye immediately began bleeding profusely, covering her face with blood and preventing her from being able to see from the eye.”

Darling was severely injured, and South Side Ballroom staff needed to take her out of the venue in a wheelchair, her suit alleges. The parking lot was packed with juggalos’ cars, blocking the entrance, and making it difficult for an ambulance to take Darling to the emergency room, she claims in her suit. A friend drove her to the hospital, where she “underwent medical treatment for weeks.” The treatment included sealing her wounds with surgical glue, the suit alleges. “It was later revealed that Plaintiff suffered a degree of retinal detachment.”

The Insane Clown Posse are no strangers to legal trouble. In March, the poet Stan Gebhardt sued the band, claiming Violent J, one of the band members had passed off one of Gebhardt’s poems as his own. “Faygoluvers,” a website for Juggalos, suggests that Violent J has been presenting the poem as his own since the early 2000’s. Violent J and his bandmate Shaggy 2 Dope have also faced a range of criminal charges from aggravated assault, to robbery, to disorderly conduct. An uptick in violent crimes among the Juggalo community prompted the FBI to add Juggalos to a list of organized gangs in 2011. In response, the Insane Clown Posse sued the FBI, and in an appeal ruling in 2015, won the right to remove Juggalos from the watch list.

Darling accuses the Insane Clown Posse of gross negligence in allegedly throwing the soda bottle offstage. “Prior to the concert, Plaintiff was a fan of ICP’s recorded music (and remains a fan as of today),” Darling’s attorney writes in her suit. “Although Plaintiff found out that she may get Faygo soda sprayed on her, Plaintiff had no way of knowing that she would be assaulted by being struck in the eye with a filled 2-liter bottle projected from the stage by ICP.”