Police are beefing up patrols this weekend because a band whose fans the FBI consider to be “gang members” is holding a benefit concert in Dayton today.
Doors open at 7 p.m. for the Insane Clown Posse concert, which will be held at 1106 E. Third St. All 400 tickets have sold out, officials said.
Proceeds from the concert along with t-shirt sales will go to the family of Aaron Spencer, who died Jan. 15 of liver failure. The Troy resident did not have health insurance. The band is playing the concert without charging a performance fee, said David Johnson, the local event promoter.
“The people who are coming are mostly coming out to celebrate the life of who we consider a family member,” Johnson said.
The Dayton Police Department typically does research on acts that are scheduled to perform in the city to determine how to prepare, officials said.
Insane Clown Posse fans, known as “Juggalo,” are classified by the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice as “gang members” because of several assaults that have occurred outside the group’s concerts. The band has a pending lawsuit in Detroit disputing that designation. ICP was also recently banned from holding a festival at a campground in Missouri.
Given those issues and the fact that it’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and many people will be drinking alcohol more than normal, police said they will increase patrols near the concert venue. Other area police departments will also be alert should back-up be needed, said Dayton Police Lt. Andrew Booher.
“(Our concern) is just basically the assaults that have occurred at some of the events they’ve had in the past,” Booher said. “We just communicate with these event holders so if anything does happen and things start to go bad we can call that person directly and we can shut things down if we have to.”
Although the band declined to speak to the Dayton Daily News about the concert, Johnson said the concert falling on the same weekend at St. Patrick’s Day is just a coincidence. He added that there can be potential issues at any large event, regardless of the music.
“Violence can break out anywhere,” he said. “The ICP fans get a really bad rap, but we’re family. I don’t think there is much of a concern or need for any extra police presence.”
Carmen Bratton, Spencer’s fiancee and an ICP fan, said she is expecting a happy, smooth event.
“I hope that people remember that when they come to the show we want everyone to enjoy the music, have a wonderful time and be able to be there with the Juggalo family,” she said.