Merrymakers seeking fun in the sun at this year’s Orange Crush Festival on Tybee Island, Ga., are apparently out of luck – as the event has been reportedly canceled overnight due to the organizer’s arrest, in a saga likened to the infamous Fyre Festival.
Early on Saturday morning, reps for the Tybee Island Police Department (TIPD) took to Facebook to share the news, Fox 28 reports.
“The TIPD has arrested the promoter of Orange Crush on felony charges along with city ordinance violations pertaining to promoting an unpermitted event. As a result, all events associated with George "Mikey" Turner are canceled and will not be happening on Tybee Island,” officials for the department wrote online in a post, which has since been deleted. “Please safely enjoy your day at the Beach.”
A notice posted to the website of the Chatham County Sheriff's Office details that George "Mikey" Turner, an organizer of the festival, was arrested around 11 p.m. on April 26, for maintaining a disorderly house, giving false name, address or birthdate to law enforcment, and criminal damage to property. Turner has been booked into jail, with bond listed at $2,400.
Reps for the office of Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman confirmed to Fox News on April 27 that on Friday evening, police were called to a house on Tybee’s north end “due to overflow parking and loud noise.” The commotion proved to be coming from a party unlawfully hosted in the residence by Turner, without the homeowner’s permission.
“Upon Police arrival, over 200 people vacated the home. The owner of the home had previously asked that the home be vacated. Police inspected the property afterwards and found substantial damage done to the property,” the statement read. “Mr. Turner provided a fictitious name to the officers on scene, was properly identified by Tybee Police and was arrested. He was actively promoting a party that took place at the home without the homeowners permission and charging admission for the party.”
“This is an ongoing investigation so we can share no additional information at this time,” the notice, sent via email, concluded.
Reps for the TIPD, meanwhile, declined Fox News' request for additional comment on the story.
The small city of Tybee Island is a barrier island located roughly 18 miles away from Savannah.
As noted by local outlet The Island Packet, the Orange Crush party is an annual beach bash featuring various concerts, models, dancers, dance parties, photographers, car shows. and more. Its website claims the event draws crowds of over 100,000.
The last two years, city officials have voted to restrict alcohol allowed on the island through the Orange Crush revelry weekend.
Social media commenters, meanwhile, had a whole lot to say about the reported cancellation.
“Crush is overwhelming for the locals..... and I have seen why. I have met some very nice folks who attend the event. They followed rules and have common decency. I have also watched as others have come to only wreak havoc,” one Facebook user commented on TIPD’s now-deleted post. “During the event, people have been shot, drugs have been used, weapons have been confiscated, islanders personal items have been trashed, public urination is the norm, and the beach has been left completely trashed.”
“If the folks attended would all follow laws and rules....that’d be great. But that doesn’t happen. My heart is with the Tybee residents,” they concluded.
“Let me be straight. I have no problem with Orange Crush! The issue is that they do not obtain the proper permits so that businesses and public safety can get prepared for such a large on slot of people!” another agreed. “MANY MANY large events go on at Tybee every year when the island is well prepared for it. They go off with little uproar and everyone has a great time.”
“The Orange Crush promoters need to take notes from successful events and obey the laws!” the commenter offered.
“I feel bad for those people who bought all access passes from “orange crush lit” they getting scammed,” one Twitter user chimed in.
“I’m laughing.... folks really still come from outta town to attend 'orange crush' y’all are easy to swindle.... have y’all not seen Fyre Festival [?],” another joked.
The Fyre Festival gained viral attention in 2017, when hundreds of attendees flocked to an island in the Bahamas with a promise that guests could vacation in luxury, eat gourmet food and walk amongst Instagram influencers as musical guests performed live.
However, when the festival-goers arrived, they found almost none of the promises were fulfilled. The creator of the festival, Billy McFarland, was ordered to spend six years in prison. He admitted to defrauding investors of $26 million in the 2017 Fyre Festival and over $100,000 in a fraudulent ticket-selling scheme after his arrest in the scam.
Fox News’ Kathleen Joyce, Tyler McCarthy and the Associated Press contributed to this report.