TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – In the three weeks it had to prepare for Orange Crush, safety leaders on Tybee Island estimated a crowd similar to 7,000 in years past would attend the 2023 event. As many as seven times that showed up, with an estimated 50,000 people on the island over the weekend.

WSAV’s Investigative Unit has learned the promoter of the event did ask the city for a permit — a process that requires a 60-day notice for public safety to prepare and requires a million-dollar insurance policy to protect against damage — but the request for Orange Crush came just before the chaos of last weekend.

Just 53 first responders, 40 of those police officers, worked to keep the crowd safe. When the event got out of control, state troopers came to help, but Georgia’s Department of Public Safety told WSAV that was only for traffic issues.

A 2018 agreement with the United State Department of Justice prevents the city from bringing in officers from other jurisdictions for Orange Crush, or any other unpermitted event, according to Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions, who added, “Our hands were tied.”

During Orange Crush, two police officers had bottles thrown at them, two police cars were damaged, countless people were seen dancing on top of moving cars, people twerked on table tops at the pier, there were fights, 18 people were arrested and dozens walked out on restaurant tabs.

At The Rock House restaurant alone, a $600 bill was left unpaid. A bartender told News 3 the weekend was absolutely lawless.

“I was overwhelmed, I was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers, I was overwhelmed for our police,” Sessions said during an interview Thursday.

The City of Tybee is preparing for another unpermitted event, Peach Fest, set for this weekend. Already, Chatham County Police has said it will increase its presence on the island and along Highway 80.

In an email, Sessions said the Orange Crush promoter called the event a success because “no one died.”

At least 10 people were saved by first responders during overdoses. Saturday night, Chatham County Police told WSAV that officers rushed two and a half cases of Narcan to the island.