Jersey Shore towns cracking down to end planned summer pop-up parties

As summer nears, Jersey Shore towns are becoming more proactive in putting a stop to planned pop-up parties and are now taking party organizers to court.

Jim Murdoch and Lanette Espy

Apr 25, 2023, 11:25 AM

Updated 453 days ago

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Jersey Shore towns are looking to put an end to planned pop-up parties this summer before they begin. Over the years, the events have been promoted on social media, drawing thousands of people to selected towns and overwhelming local law enforcement.
Towns are becoming more proactive and are now going as far as taking it to court. A judge granted an injunction Monday banning a planned pop-up party in Seaside Heights for next week. The party organizer was told they cannot hold the event May 5, 6 or June 17. A hearing on this injunction is scheduled in court on May 3.
The party organizer wrote on Instagram, “Seaside Link Up is Cancelled!”
In the comments, the organizer added a warning to not go to Seaside Heights.
"Do not I repeat do not go to Seaside the day of the link up - the town has officers ready to arrest anyone that comes/ forms in big crowds," the post said. 
Over the last couple of years, pop-up parties began to get noticed by local beach communities. Two people died last September during a pop-up rally in Wildwood. In 2020, a large crowd took over Point Pleasant Beach, leaving garbage, empty alcohol bottles, and drawing many complaints from neighbors.
“Young people can have a good time. We were all young at one time, I was young. And we had a good time, we did different things. Sometimes we behaved a little irrational but nothing to the consequences of a riot or fighting or destruction of property. That’s the changes in society today. There’s no fear factor,” said Mayor Tony Vaz.
In 2021 and 2022, more gatherings in Long Branch forced county wide responses to the area. More than a dozen people were arrested last year at that event. Similar parties happened away from the boardwalks at private homes in Brick Township and Jackson Township. A pop-up car rally drew thousands of people to Cape May County and Wildwood last September where deaths occurred.
Vaz says he wants to see a change to social media policies.
"It's an instrument that should be good but they're using it for bad things, bad behavior events," he said.
News 12 reached out to the promoter of the now canceled Seaside Heights party on his Instagram page and invited him to speak on camera. He has not responded.


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