Pharrell’s ‘Something in the Water’ festival to be ‘transformative’ for Virginia Beach, mayor says

Entertainment
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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY/AP) — The musical lineup for Pharrell Williams’ “Something in the Water” festival at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront has been announced. 

Portsmouth’s Missy Elliott, Migos, Travis Scott and the Virginia Beach native himself, Pharrell, are just some of the big names on the list, which first appeared in a teaser video Williams posted to his Twitter on Sunday. Hampton native DRAM and Virginia Beach’s Pusha T are also slated to perform. 

A website and corresponding social media accounts for the festival — Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — were launched on Monday, along with information on ticket sales.

Tickets for the festival go on sale Friday, March 8, at noon.

According to the festival’s website, a three-day general admission pass starts with an early bird price of $150, with three-day VIP passes costing between $450 and $500.

25 performers, tens of thousands of people, seven weeks to get ready. Those are just a few of the facts and figures surrounding the festival at the Oceanfront.

The event is scheduled to be held Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28. The final weekend of April is traditionally when College Beach Weekend is informally held.

Pharrell organized it for the same weekend and as an alternative to beach weekends of the past.

Pharrell said in an interview with The Associated Press that he created the festival to give back to the community that raised him and helped him achieve his goals and dreams.

FILE – In this Oct. 11, 2018 file photo, Pharrell Williams arrives at the City of Hope Gala at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

“Virginians are taste-makers,” he said, naming famous folks from the state, from Ella Fitzgerald to Allen Iverson to Missy Elliott.

“Virginia has been home to some of the most gifted artists, athletes, and scientists to ever live. And it makes sense — the people of Virginia are one-of-a-kind: uniquely gritty, bold, and brilliant,” Pharrell said. “Virginia needs this right now and the world will see what we Virginians have known all along: there really is Something in the Water.”

The festival won’t just focus on music: The film “The Burial of Kojo” — acquired by Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY company — will be screened, followed by a discussion. The film will premiere on Netflix on March 31.

Something in the Water will also include a pop-up church service, karaoke featuring trap music as well as moments with wellness expert Deepak Chopra and Geoffrey Canada, the president of the Harlem Children’s Zone whose work has transformed the lives of thousands of inner-city youth.

Virginia Beach Mayor Robert “Bobby” Dyer said the festival “is going to be a transformative event for our city.”

“We are absolutely thrilled with the plans Pharrell and his team have for this year. There will be no doubt that what is ‘in the water’ around Virginia Beach is ‘something’ very special,” he said.

Both Oceanfront stages and at the Virginia Beach Convention Center will serve as venues. 

The Virginia Beach City Manager’s office gave city council an update last week on details for the three-day music and cultural festival. 

The city is expecting bigger crowds than what was typically seen at college beach weekend in the past. Last year an average of 35,000 people were in Virginia Beach every day.

Brian Solis, an assistant to the city manager and project manager for the event, said live music performances would occur that Friday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday noon to 11 p.m.

If you plan to attend, the city has some tips. 

The city says it will have two satellite parking lots west and south of the Oceanfront, so that the festival area won’t be gridlocked, and we may see inbound traffic cut off if the crowds get too large.

“Police will have the final say, in coordination with state police as well, whether folks will have to be turned around on the interstate as has occurred in years past,” Solis said.

Mayor Dyer says all the planning can be done in the seven weeks between now and Something in the Water, and Virginia Beach is ready to hit it out of the park.

“We have an excellent working relationship with our staff and Pharrell’s staff. There’s no doubt in my mind this is going to be a home run.”

City Council will discuss Tuesday night what sort of financial sponsorship they want to put behind the event.

More information can be found on the festival’s website.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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