Thousands of people descended on the city of Huntington Beach, California over the weekend to participate in a TikTok party called Adrian’s Kickback, which went viral on the platform. As the party swelled, so did the police presence. In the end, the cops arrested 149 people.
Everything started on Wednesday when TikTok user adrian.lopez517 posted about his upcoming birthday party on the app. “ADRIAN’S KICKBACK” the post said. “Date:may 22nd, Time:7:30pm, BYOE!! Slide thru this Saturday we finna turn up!! !!” By Saturday night, #AdriansKickback had more than 180 million views on TikTok.
All last week, people posted in anticipation of the event. Some even claimed to be flying in from Puerto Rico to attend. Thousands of videos hit TikTok describing elaborate preparations and long drive times. On Twitter, the Huntington Beach Police Department informed the public it was aware of the party and monitoring the situation.
As Saturday dawned, party goers started showing up in Huntington Beach. The city’s beaches close at 10 PM but the party could not be contained to the sand. Party goers flooded the streets, playing loud music, setting off fireworks, and generally having a good time.
At 2:30 AM, the Huntington Beach PD declared the party an unlawful assembly and instituted a curfew for the downtown area until 5:30 am. As the night wore on, police in riot gear descended on downtown Huntington Beach. According to local news, and used police used less than lethal munitions to disperse crowds. A Los Angeles area reporter noted the use of paintballs and pepper bullets. Some local businesses and cop cars were vandalized.
Party goers ran to different parts of downtown, continuing to burn out cars and toss fireworks as the cops worked through the crowds.
Huntington Beach PD told NBC Los Angeles that it had arrested 121 adults and 28 juveniles in connection with Adrian’s Kickback. The charges included curfew violations, failure to disperse, vandalism, and using fireworks. No significant injuries were reported in connection with the event.
All of the videos on Adrian’s TikTok have since disappeared.