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First Coast

Beaches Authorities Expect Busy Orange Crush Weekend

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Orange Crush Festival
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The Orange Crush music festival has been billed as a Jacksonville Beaches event, but mayors in Atlantic, Neptune and Jacksonville beaches say their cities have not issued any event permits related to the festival.

But the Beaches are still preparing for a busy weekend, with as many as 15,000 partiers expected to flock to the area. Law enforcement officials at the Beaches plan to monitor the event closely. 

Orange Crush has historically attracted a predominantly Black, college-age crowd, and has previously taken place on Georgia’s Tybee Island, near Savannah. 

The Savannah Morning News reported dozens of arrests, including gun and drug violations, at the festival in 2018. Event organizers said they left Tybee because of insufficient parking and other resources, as well as unspecified civil rights violations.

“Formerly Orange Crush Tybee island has been permanently relocated due to lack of resources, limited parking, civil rights violations, and political injustices the annual beach event has been moved and has new locations and new dates,” event organizers wrote on their website. “It is unclear if Orange Crush will ever return to TYBEE ISLAND, GA. Luckily Jacksonville FL has agreed to be the NEW HOST city for the culturally historic ORANGE CRUSH FESTIVAL brand.”

Orange Crush’s website shows events planned for clubs and parks in Jacksonville, not at the beaches. 

The festival kicks off this Friday with events at Justice Pub, which is on E. Bay Street, Downtown; and Mascaras gentlemen's club on Southside Blvd. on the Southside.

On Saturday, which is Juneteenth, the Orange Crush schedule lists a pool party, a beach day — though the specific beach is not listed — and a party at Onyx Sports Bar and Lounge on Norwood Avenue on the Northside. 

Contact Sydney Boles at sboles@wjct.org, or on Twitter at @sydneyboles.