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Almost 150 People Were Arrested At A Huge Party In California After It Went Viral On TikTok

"It was lit," one attendee told BuzzFeed News.

Posted on May 23, 2021, at 4:54 p.m. ET


Fox 11 KTTV via AP

This May 22 aerial screenshot provided by Fox 11 KTTV shows people gathered at the Huntington Beach, California, pier.

Nearly 150 people were arrested Saturday night in Huntington Beach, California, where a massive crowd showed up for a birthday party that went viral on TikTok.

Police said an estimated 2,500 people descended upon downtown Huntington Beach for "Adrian's Kickback." Since a guy named Adrian posted about his birthday earlier this week, the hashtag has been viewed more than 220 million times on TikTok, with some people posting about traveling from out of state to attend.

Videos from the gathering showed crowds of young people dancing and running through the streets, climbing on stoplights, lifeguard towers, and police cars and setting off fireworks in an intersection and on the beach.

The Huntington Beach Police Department, which said it had been made aware of the party earlier in the week, declared the crowd an unlawful assembly just after 7 p.m. and instituted an emergency curfew beginning at 11:30 p.m., a spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

Police arrested 121 adults and 28 minors on charges including vandalism, curfew violations, and setting off illegal fireworks, the department said, adding that attendees allegedly threw rocks, bottles, and fireworks at officers.

Lol TikTok took the video down. Last night at Adrians kickback in Huntington Beach #adrianskickback #Cali

Twitter: @GizmoJA

One attendee said he stayed until around 11 p.m. and saw "very few" people interacting with police while he was there.

"The majority of the crowd was just focused on having a good time," Jeryn Anderson, 24, told BuzzFeed News. "We were doing mosh pits, watching people do burnouts, dancing, and running from fireworks.

"It was lit," Anderson added.

On Saturday, New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz tracked down Adrian himself, who said he first posted about the party Tuesday and also advertised it on Snapchat.

I found Adrian from Adrian’s kickback! and his friend who posted the original viral TikTok. The hashtag #Adrianskickback has over 180M views on TikTok as of today

Twitter: @TaylorLorenz

Adrian's account is now private, and he didn't immediately respond to BuzzFeed News.

Before Huntington Beach shut the event down Saturday, one TikTok user, @thesyncup, reported that officers were firing paintballs at the crowd. Other videos posted to Twitter appeared to show the same.

According to police, multiple businesses as well as police cars and a lifeguard tower were vandalized.

@thesyncup

#adrianskickback just ended!! Soo many cops, they were firing paintballs!!😳 #adrians #foryou

♬ original sound - 🥸

Some people on social media criticized the police response to the gathering, drawing comparisons to white nationalist and anti-lockdown events that have repeatedly been held in Huntington Beach with less police intervention.

Honestly glad kids are destroying Huntington Beach😂they have WAY too many racist white people. But it's wild they didn't have any police when those white folk were wilding mid pandemi with no masks because they felt oppressed.

Twitter: @taariqelliott

#HuntingtonBeach police put a curfew on Adrian's kickback but the White Lives Rally went on for three days straight. right offuckers?? I mean officers? https://t.co/kRhIZclx3q

Twitter: @jr90028

While Saturday night was by far the largest gathering, police said a few hundred people also showed up for the party in Huntington Beach on Friday night.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.