Police broke up a party attended by up to 50 teenagers in a field at Spreacombe near Ilfracombe on Good Friday.
Several fights broke out, one youth tried to attack a police officer and a spate of criminal damage was reported in Braunton which police believe may be linked to the party.
Police also believe drugs may have been available at the event.
Officers were called to the scene shortly before 11pm and found parents parked at a gate to an open, unlit field from which young people were emerging.
North Devon Sector Inspector Roger Bartlett, who attended the scene, said many of the young people were drunk, rude and violent.
He said: "Officers had to make their way across the field in near freezing temperatures to an open barn where there were between 40 and 50 teenagers inside and outside the barn.
"There was significant disorder with a number of small fights happening and a lot of bad feeling.
"Many of the young people were very drunk and there was a mass of discarded bottles and cans of alcohol. The area was unlit and there was agricultural machinery evident.
"There was a large open fire around which many of the drunk young people were congregating."
Insp Bartlett said officers could not find an organiser or responsible adult at the event.
Insp Bartlett said: "I am not sure what the children told their parents about the event, but I spoke to at least one parent at the gate who did not know how many were at the party, what the venue was like, whether there was alcohol or not or who was organising or supervising the event.
"I have information indicating that drugs may have been available and met one girl who was very drunk and hardly able to stand unaided who told me that she was planning to walk back on the roads to Mortehoe. Others gave officers false details."
Insp Bartlett said the risks to the young people were significant.
He said: "The mix of unsupervised drinking who are very prone to peer pressure, in the middle of nowhere in total darkness and near freezing temperatures with disorder happening around an open fire and agricultural machinery could very easily have ended in a young person being seriously harmed.
"Had one of them fallen or collapsed through drink without being spotted in the dark, I do wonder whether they would have survived the night. I know some parents provided alcohol to their children to take to the party that they appear to have known little about."
Two youths were arrested for trying to assault an officer and a15-year-old boy was reprimanded for public order offences.
Insp Bartlett said there were also a number of crimes that occurred in the vicinity of the party in the hours that followed which police believe may be linked to those attending.
This included the theft of £1,000 worth of stainless steel lettering from the entrance of Willingcott Golf Club (Crime Ref: CI/13/297).
Three instances of damage reported in Braunton in the early hours of March 30 including damage to Southfork bike shop in Exeter Road (Crime Ref: CN/13/89), two wing mirrors ripped off a Ford Transit at the rear of the London Inn (Crime Ref: CN/13/90) and a wing mirror and Mercedes badge ripped off a vehicle in Barton Road (Crime Ref: CN/13/91).
Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call 101 quoting the relevant crime reference numbers.
Alternatively, they can give anonymous information using crime stoppers on 0800 555111.
Insp Bartlett said officers have since spoken to the landowner who, in law, would have been liable for had any of the party goers come to harm.
Insp Bartlett said: ‘This was a party that got out of hand and was not a pleasant experience for many of the young people there or the parents.
"I only hope that all concerned take the opportunity to learn from this experience. I do not think it right that the scarce resources of the police had to be used to ensure the safety of those young people present because of what I believe were some very unwise decisions.
"My advice to parents is to at least find out which adult is responsible for organising the event and speak to them beforehand to find out what is planned.
"Then talk to your children and agree some clear boundaries to protect them. I do not want any parent to be faced with a call from the police saying their child is in custody or worse that they have come to serious harm."