Pharrell’s Something In The Water Fest Announces Return To Virginia Beach
In 2019, Pharrell Williams brought the first edition of his Something In The Water festival to his Virginia Beach hometown. In a lot of ways, the Virginia Beach locale was the entire point of the festival — as in, there must’ve been something in the water for people like the Neptunes and Missy Elliott and Timbaland to come out of the same place at the same time. So it was a genuine shock last year when Pharrell announced that Something In The Water would no longer happen in Virginia Beach.
Because of the pandemic, Something In The Water couldn’t happen in 2020 or 2021. When it came time to announce the second edition of the festival, Pharrell said that the “toxic energy” in Virginia Beach forced him to move the festival. Earlier that year, Pharrell’s 25-year-old cousin Donovan Lynch had been shot and killed by police in Virginia Beach. Lynch’s family disputed the police account of the shooting. In announcing his refusal to stage his festival in Virginia Beach, Pharrell cited Lynch’s killing and a 2019 mass shooting that left 12 people dead: “I don’t have a problem with the city, but I realize the city hasn’t valued my proposed solutions, either.” Local leaders publicly begged Pharrell to reconsider, but the second Something In The Water instead happened in Washington, DC this past June.
The DC edition of Something In The Water featured surprises like a Clipse reunion and an appearance from Pharrell’s old collaborator Justin Timberlake. According to most accounts, though, the fest was a bit of a logistical nightmare, with long lines and last-minute set-time changes. Today, Pharrell announced that Something In The Water will come back to Virginia Beach next year, issuing a statement alongside a number of local leaders. In his statement, Pharrell says, “The demand for the festival in Virginia Beach and the 757 — among the people — has never wavered… I need to come back home. There is a pervasive feeling by almost everyone that the festival belongs in Virginia Beach, and the time is right to bring it back.”
The next Something In The Water fest is now scheduled to go down 4/28-30 in Virginia Beach. The lineup has yet to be announced.