Thousands of Black college students expected this weekend for an annual spring bash at Georgia’s largest public beach will be greeted by dozens of extra police officers and barricades closing off neighborhood streets. While the beach will remain open, officials are blocking access to nearby parking.

Tybee Island, east of Savannah, has grappled with the April beach party known as Orange Crush since students at Savannah State University, a historically Black school, started it more than 30 years ago. Residents regularly groused about loud music, trash littering the sand and revelers urinating in yards.

Those complaints boiled over into fear and outrage a year ago when record crowds estimated at more than 100,000 people overwhelmed the 3-mile island. That left a small police force scrambling to handle a flood of emergency calls reporting gunfire, drug overdoses, traffic jams and fist fights.

  • Flying Squid
    link
    472 months ago

    I think I’m going to have to go with the officials who are claiming this isn’t about race, but is about 100,000 college students descending on a town of 3000 people on an island that’s 3 miles across for a huge spring break party.

    • @Bernie_Sandals
      link
      172 months ago

      Having been there, yeah it’s most likely almost 100% about the massive population increase during party season.

      However, having met a lot of those redneck Tybeeians, I bet there’s at least some racism happening in response for sure.

      • Flying Squid
        link
        112 months ago

        I’m sure there are plenty of racists there who will be happy if the party is banned, but I don’t think that’s why the town is trying to stop it.

        • @Bernie_Sandals
          link
          32 months ago

          Completely agree, the island is just too small for that many people. When I first saw the headline I thought for sure that they had added an extra zero. 100,000 people in that town/on that beach would be insane.

      • @A_Union_of_Kobolds
        link
        92 months ago

        Yeah the island is just not that big lol. I love Tybee but it can’t handle no 100k people

        • @Bernie_Sandals
          link
          22 months ago

          Yeah exactly, I do wonder how many are just coming from Savannah for the weekend/day, or if tens of thousands of people are actually staying in Tybee at the same time.

    • magnetosphere
      link
      fedilink
      162 months ago

      College kids are rowdy and do crazy shit. I know I did. There’s almost certainly a racist component, but the core problem would exist even if all the college kids were white. Over 100,000 people! Yikes!

      • Flying Squid
        link
        82 months ago

        I wasn’t a big partier, but I once went to Myrtle Beach because I had to see the ocean for my own sanity and even though it was an 11-hour drive, it was the closest coast I could get to. It wasn’t quite summer yet and it was after spring break, but it was still filled with rowdy college students getting drunk, puking and pissing everywhere, screaming from their cars which were blaring loud music, etc. That’s what they were doing when it wasn’t party time.

        Thankfully, I stayed in the state park in a tent and didn’t have to deal with them much.

    • @Bell
      link
      72 months ago

      Been there and Tybee seems annoyed with tourists of any race, at any time of the year

      • Flying Squid
        link
        42 months ago

        Having lived in Hollywood (it was close to work), I can totally understand that sentiment. You know you’re in a tourist area but the tourists are so often such assholes that you end up hating them.

    • @jordanlund
      link
      62 months ago

      I just watched a documentary on Atlanta’s “FreakNik” which got shut down for similar reasons. Started off fine, got out of control, got shut down. :( Then it got corporatized and that killed it for good.

      https://www.ajc.com/news/local/gallery-looking-back-freaknik/Dek76YxLetjnG4aMaPAmaN/

      https://www.npr.org/2024/03/23/1240462403/a-look-back-at-freaknik-atlantas-iconic-hbcu-spring-break-party-of-80s-and-90s

      You can watch the documentary on Hulu:

      https://press.hulu.com/shows/freaknik-the-wildest-party-never-told/

      • Flying Squid
        link
        72 months ago

        I’ve heard about FreakNik, but I know very little about it. Thanks.

        I went to DragonCon back in the 90s and it was nuts, but in a fun way. I’m guessing it’s totally corporate now, although I know attendance has grown massively.

        Back then, I got to see Gwar and The Misfits live for free (it wasn’t even in a part of the area where they were checking wrist bands) and celebrities didn’t ask for money for an autograph.

        • @[email protected]
          link
          fedilink
          42 months ago

          Atlanta had a small concert thing going put on by the 99x music station there that was only worth it because it was free. (On the Bricks was the name.) Great acts played there, but the crowds were terrible. Soooo many people and the hivemind was in full effect. N.E.R.D. was there and they played their popular song at the time (Lapdance I think.) and the crowd would not let them play anything else. Did the same thing to Sevendust. I don’t think it lasted long though.

          Atlanta crowds are something else.

  • @randon31415
    link
    32 months ago

    … as opposed to Black Crush, the annual gathering of MAGA students.