Pharrell Williams’ Something in the Water Festival was cancelled for the past two years, but it’s back—and this time, it’s not in Virginia Beach. It’ll run from June 17 to June 19 on DC’s National Mall.
The rapper and record producer, who was born and raised in the coastal city, decided to relocate the music festival to the District after his cousin was shot and killed by a Virginia Beach police officer last year.
Williams shared his reasons for moving the festival in a letter to Virginia Beach city manager Patrick Duhaney. He wrote that the city has been “run by- and with toxic energy,” and that its leadership has focused more on the loss of the festival than on the death of his cousin. Still, the festival hasn’t turned its back on the city entirely: there will be shuttles available to transport patrons from Virginia Beach to DC and back ($50 one way, $95 round trip).
The three-day event boasts an exciting lineup with nearly 70 hip hop, pop, and R&B artists. Grammy-nominated artists such as Chloe x Halle, Tyler the Creator, and Usher will perform alongside up-and-comers like Earthgang, Omar Apollo, and Baby Tate.
Something in the Water returns on Juneteenth weekend in DC! 🌊🌤
— SOMETHING IN THE WATER (@sitw) April 26, 2022
Despite the travel accommodations and impressive roster of musical acts, Virginians haven’t been too pleased with Williams’s decision. Some took it as a blow to Virginia Beach pride, and others seem to have forgotten that DC is, in fact, near water.
Man really took a 757 event
And made it some DMV ish
— Yesssssssir. (@Tr3Skee) April 26, 2022
FUCK VBPD AND THEM FOR RUINING THIS FOR THE 757 WHAT WATER IS THERE IN DC PHARELL???
— VA 🖖🏽 (@thatkidjake301) April 26, 2022
Three-day passes go on sale this Saturday, April 30 at 10 AM, and start at $299.50 (plus $50 in fees). General Admission passes include one wristband for entry, and access to activities and food and drink vendors.