25 ‘national acts’ expected to perform at Pharrell’s ‘Something in the Water’ festival in VB


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — More plans have been released about a first of its kind music and cultural festival planned for the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. 

On Tuesday, the city manager’s office gave city council the latest details on the three-day music and cultural festival that is being planned for the last week of April by Pharrell Williams

Williams, a Virginia Beach native, is hoping to create a positive music festival during what is traditionally known as College Beach Weekend. Titled “Something in the Water,” the event would be held at both Oceanfront stages and at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. 

While the line-up has yet to be announced, Brian Solis, an Assistant to the City Manager, revealed 24 “national acts” have already been booked. Pharrell’s team, which includes mega-concert promoter Live Nation, is looking to book one more act.

“20 national acts is really unprecedented for the region, and the state really,” Solis said. 

Live music would occur Friday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday noon to 11 p.m., according to Solis.

There would also be a brunch theme event Sunday at 10 a.m. 

However Solis called attention to the “other” activities occurring alongside the music. 

Fitness, art, community gardening programming and a speaker series will originate out of the Convention Center. There will also be daily basketball tournaments.

“If you are somewhere congregating, just hanging out, you are missing something somewhere cause there is a programmed activity going on at the resort,” Solis said. 

Virginia Beach councilors gave unofficial approval to move forward with the planning of the event back in November hoping it would help change College Beach Weekend’s reputation. 

Last April, police arrested 43 people over the course of the weekend.

In October, the Virginia Beach Hotel Association met with Pharrell. The group also thinks his idea could turn things around.

Security will be tight. Private security is expected to be hired, and gun searches could occur in certain areas. 

However at the moment, Vice-Mayor Jim Wood’s biggest concern is the cost to attend such an event. Ticket prices have yet to be announced.

“We’ve got 35,000 students coming, I don’t know if they are going to have a fraction of $1,500 [to buy a ticket],” Wood said.

Both City Manager Dave Hansen and Deputy City Manager Ron Williams were quick to say the price would be nowhere near that of other big festivals.

Hansen said this would be the “launch year” of the festival, insinuating everything might not be perfect. 

The lineup and ticket information is expected to be released in the coming weeks. 

05.SIW Festival Complete 

Stay with WAVY.com for updates.

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