The Scooby Doo Crew (SDC) should be feeling great.
After all, the production group that provides sound and electronic services for raves, parties and the like will celebrate its 15th anniversary April 16, and the popularity of its parties has been on the rise since the crew was formed.
Unfortunately, after something of a mishap in Brazoria County this past weekend, its members aren't in the best of moods.
"We do a beach party every year," says Kelly McCann, a longtime member of SDC. "We started throwing free parties, and... another crew asked if they could set up. And then the following year, three other sound systems set up. And within a four-year period, there were over 20 sound systems on a seven-mile stretch of beach.
"Well, it got up to 20,000 people," McCann says. "And the cops used to be OK with it - in fact, I have newspaper articles where they said the beach was cleaner than when we got there - but when it got to that level, they weren't cool with it anymore, and pretty much ran us off."
The group's first party was on Bolivar Island, but it grew exponentially, which is why the group is always relocating, jumping from beach to beach and county to county.
"So we've been using different beaches," McCann says. "This is the first year that we used Quintana Beach, and we've been keeping it very low promotion with only one sound system and were only planning on having 300 to 500 people the past few years.
"This one however, even compared to the 20,000 one, had a string of violence," McCann says, figuring five or six fights broke out in only five minutes. "It got really bad, to the point that I actually turned the music off in hopes that they would leave."
There were numerous break-ins to cars and, coupled with the fights, McCann and the rest of the SDC were worried not just about the well-being of their guests, but being seen as the catalyst for the evening's problems.
"The cops came 10 minutes later," he says. "We're used to being shut down whenever they find us out there, but these cops were totally cool. I told them what was going on, and they were like, 'We're all right with what you're doing; in fact, we wish there was more of this out here.'"
Apparently, that beach is prone to violence, and even though the night eventually went sour, the officers were just glad to see something other than fighting on the shoreline.
Though McCann says he's pleased with how the Freeport Police handled the situation, he isn't too happy with Texas' legislation concerning public beaches.
"The state of Texas has made a public law that you can no longer gather more than 200 people on any beach in the state," he said. "The problem now is that none of the counties have come up with guidelines to obtain a permit... They've invented these laws to get a permit that doesn't exist."
McCann has tried to obtain a permit and has been denied, which is another reason SDC is always jumping from spot to spot.
"What really gets me mad is that there's no liability," he says. "Nobody can sign anything to get the right to throw a party on a public beach. Really, I think they're just waiting for somebody who has the money to file suit. The guidelines, even if they came up with some, would be so far fetched that it could no longer be a free party."
McCann hasn't considered legal action himself, because he figured that the influx of people into Galveston would be appreciated.
"Call me naïve... but I thought - between the hotels, stores, gas and water bought, etc. - someone would come to me and help me, because it's such a big impact on the island's economy," he says.
"I could get sponsorships to cover the costs and probably keep it free, but I think that's like going to McDonald's instead of enjoying a home-cooked meal."
McCann could also hire police officers to patrol the beaches where he throws his parties, but he feels that, since it's a public beach - and especially if it's Spring Break - the white-and-blues should be making rounds nearby anyway.
"We have the right to assemble," McCann says. "Where does it say we only have the right to assemble with a permit?"
In the case of this past weekend, the police seemed at ease with the party itself, but the people in attendance were the problem. So SDC is trying to figure out a way to have more of a private party, so they can hand pick who gets on the beach.
So long as there isn't any violence and there aren't any glass bottles, McCann thinks it should all go off without a hitch.
Rocks Off also contacted the Freeport Police Department, but Police Chief Tyrone Morrow was unavailable for comment. A spokesperson said the chief is out of town due to a family emergency.
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