Adrian Lopez, who lives in California, United States, was an ordinary teen before his 17th birthday which was ordinary by no means. His special day saw 2500 revellers, many of who travelled across the country to attend his birthday party, thanks to a digital invitation that went viral on Tiktok. The gathering soon turned into what a witness recalls as a “zombie apocalypse” of “17 to 19-year-olds,” leading to police firing nonlethal rounds on the crowd, arresting near 150 attendees and imposing a curfew in the area, the New York Times reported.
Lopez, who was just an average high-school student a week ago, had made a digital flyer inviting people on his birthday on May 22. The invitation that was titled “Adrian’s Kickback,” read “Slide tru this Saturday we finna turn up!!!!” According to Lopez, the invitation was meant for students at his school in Eastvale, California. To draw more attention, Lopez’s friend, 16-year-old Yahir Hernandez posted the invitation on his Snapchat and TikTok accounts.
Over the next few days, the Tiktok video went viral and became a social media sensation. Many internet celebrities posted about the event, and the hashtag #adianskickback had attracted about 280 million views by the weekend.
By Friday night, when people had posted that they would travel across the country to attend the hyped event, both friends started getting nervous. They partnered with Cookies N’ Kicks, a popular sneaker and streetwear store, to sell $40(nearly Rs. 2,900) tickets, and changed the venue to undisclosed.
Meanwhile, unaware of the change in plans, thousands of teenagers showed up on Saturday at Huntington Beach, the original venue. Fireworks, mosh pits, loud music, partygoers on stoplights and flagpoles were all there. The teens who had come to the beach hoped it would turn out to be “the party of the century” but things didn’t exactly go to plan.
Soon, the police arrived at the scene and arrested close to 150 revellers. The authorities imposed an emergency overnight curfew. The final venue in Los Angeles, which was never disclosed, was also leaked and a crowd did show up. However, the police shut down that party before it even began.