Something in the Water officially heads to D.C.
Pharrell pulled festival from Va. Beach last fall
Music superstar and Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams announced Tuesday that his signature three-day music festival, Something in the Water, will be held in June in Washington, D.C., making its departure from Virginia Beach official.
Scheduled for June 17-19 on Independence Avenue, the three-day festival includes a long list of pop and hip-hop artists, including “Pharrell & phriends & some people we can’t announce.”
The festival was previously held on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront in April 2019, before the pandemic caused its cancellation in 2020 and 2021. In September 2021, however, Williams wrote a letter to the city manager saying that he would cancel the 2022 festival because of the city’s “toxic energy.” He said that the fallout from his cousin Donovon Lynch’s killing by a Virginia Beach police officer in March 2021 and a special grand jury’s finding of no probable cause to charge the officer, combined with other issues surrounding Williams’ economic development projects in the city, made him decide to call off the festival, which yielded $24 million in local economic impact in 2019.
However, in recent weeks, there were rumors of the festival moving to Washington, confirmed Tuesday via Williams’ social media platforms and the event’s website.
Barry Biggar, president and CEO of Visit Fairfax, said that his office is excited about SITW’s move, but the festival’s impact on surrounding Northern Virginia localities “depends on how full the hotels in D.C. are and how much they charge. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
In a January interview with Virginia Business, Williams said that he wanted to restage the festival elsewhere, noting, “Something in the Water — when you talk DMV, they always say, ‘Man, whether it’s Missy Elliott or Timbaland or Chad Hugo or Michael Vick, it must be something in the water.'”