But hey, do you — it's why we're on this planet …

Musicians know they’ve made it when their outfit amasses a following of fans so loyal and diehard that it’s safely assumed most shows will be sold out no matter where they perform. Through the years, trends and bands come and go, but there are those cult-like fanbases that seem to stick around even when we wish they’d just move on. As general people, there’s nothing inherently wrong about hardcore fans, but they can be … well … hard to love sometimes.

Here are some music superpowers with the most dedicated, obsessed and oftentimes obnoxious fans in the world.

The Grateful Dead

You can’t talk about cult followings without mentioning the original cult following: Deadheads. Nowadays, “Deadheads” is pretty much synonymous with “aged hippies who took WAY too much acid back in the day.”

Even though The Grateful Dead isn’t even a band anymore, Deadheads just refuse to admit defeat, and continue following around any band that has a Dead connection. Whether it’s Bob Weir and Ratdog, Phil Lesh & Friends, Furthur or Dark Star Orchestra — if someone’s jamming some Dead tunes live, the Deadheads make their way out of the woodwork and easily fill a venue with the smell of patchouli and midlife crises. To their credit, the longevity of the Grateful Dead and its fans is pretty impressive when taken in the context of today’s here-and-gone musical trends.

String Cheese Incident

String Cheese Incident and its followers, or “Cheeseheads” as they are often called, are essentially the modern equivalent of the Deadheads. A String Cheese show, while loads of fun, can sometimes be a dangerous place for a first-timer or for people who don’t follow them religiously.

On top of the precarious lack of breathable air caused by an overwhelming stench of BO and weed smoke, there is always the risk the being clobbered by a stray hula hoop or wavering dreadlock. If a rookie manages to avoid those precarious hazards, there’s still the threat of being locked into a discussion of the set list from last year’s New Year’s Eve run with a staunch Cheesehead who is too spun to realize that no one cares.

Pretty Lights & Bassnectar

Pretty Lights and Bassnectar are in the same boat as far as fanbases go. Both the Pretty Lights Fam and Bassheads exhibit behaviors that psychologists would call “dangerously obsessive.” Don’t twist it though, we love PL and Bassnectar equally, but the diehard fans that follow from city to city, tattooing their bodies and covering their flat-bill Grassroots caps with homages to their electronic deities is a little excessive.

What’s worse, is that even though Pretty Lights and Bassnectar are cool with each other and often share the stage, their respective camps are often at odds over who is the more powerful god. PL’s team, known for emulating Derek’s semi-pseudo-philosophical babble, often take to social media to criticize the perceived rudeness of Lorin’s squad. Bassheads argue those claims, sayingthere’s nothing wrong with occupying the entire front row of a festival stage all day just to see Bassnectar up close for the hundredth time. What ensues is the most pathetic shit talking exchange in recorded history. In conclusion, both artists are awesome — both have some over-the-top fans; lots of people on both sides need to find a hobby.


It’s odd that Phish has fans at all. What’s even weirder is that, not only does the band have fans, it has a bunch of them, —and they fucking LOVE Phish. Despite sounding like a high school garage band with minimal practice, Phish has one of the most infamous followings in music history.

To give an idea of the kinds of people we’re talking about, consider this: during the band’s 2011 Labor Day weekend run at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the Mayor of Commerce City ordered all public fountains to be shut off during Phish’s stay, citing concerns that folks might bathe in them or fill them with drugs. Among other qualities, Phish fans are indeed known for their rampant drug use — but to be fair, you kind of have to be zooted out of your mind to dig Phish’s 20+ minute jam sessions.

If you’re in the market for some drugs you’ve probably never heard of, go check out a Phish show and let us know how it goes.


Let’s get something straight off the bat: Radiohead is a decent band. It’s not a shitty band, but it’s not the greatest band either. However, if you ask a diehard Radiohead fan, he or she will likely tell you that Radiohead is the greatest band ever in human history — better than the Beatles, better than the Stones, better than every band ever — and also that frontman Thom Yorke is the greatest musical genius ever. 

Of course all opinions are valid — except for this one. Like anyone who isn’t a diehard Radiohead fan, we’re still a little confused about what it is that draws so many people to a band that is just “m’eh.”

Then again, there are plenty of snobby, shoegazing elitists in the world, so maybe that has something to do with it.

Dave Matthews Band

Seriously everyone, it’s 2016. Why are we still seeing that fucking ballerina bumper sticker on the backs of Subarus? And why are people still shitting themselves when DMB announces a tour? Dave Matthews Band was awesome in the ‘90s, but hasn’t put out a decent album since “Crash” — it’s time to pack away the Birkenstocks and admit that DMB is past its prime.

DMB fanatics are living reminders of a bygone era that, let’s face it, most of us wish we could forget. Let us know when DMB releases something that’s worth listening to, and then we’ll consider giving you a pass for driving too slow and buying up all the craft beer within a ten-mile radius of a Dave Matthews concert.

Insane Clown Posse

Juggalos are in league of their own when it comes to dedicated fandom. Followers of Insane Clown Posse wear commitment to their favorite band on their sleeves — and oftentimes faces. Juggalos are a strange bunch; they thrive on being outcasts and oddballs. Things that most people agree are trashy — sifting through ashtrays for a half-smoked cigarette, not showering, meth — are often thought to be super awesome by Juggalos.

To their credit, though, Juggalos are very comfortable with who they are and what they like, and the sense of family that unites Juggalos is undeniably commendable.

That said, you all keep drinking Faygo and being your misfit selves. Go on Juggalo Nation!