VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Entertainer and Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams announced on Friday he is planning a festival called ‘Something in the Water’ for next year’s College Beach Weekend.
10 On Your Side’s Andy Fox caught up with Williams at the Norfolk International Airport for details on the proposed event.
Williams says he’s working with city leaders to plan the event. It will include various types of activities at the Virginia Beach Convention Center involving fashion, music, food, guest speakers and more.
The proposed festival will be held the last weekend in April to coincide with College Beach Weekend at the Oceanfront, according to Williams.
Williams tells 10 On Your Side it’s going to be called ‘Something in the Water’ because people tell Williams how great people from the area are and say it must be something in the water.
Just met with Pharrell Williams. Only on 10 his new plan for a proposed festival the last weekend in April to coincide with college beach weekend. Coming up on Wavy News 10 @WAVY_News pic.twitter.com/1cceYTiJaN— Andy Fox (@AndyFoxWAVY) October 26, 2018
Williams said he’s excited to show off where he came from. “They say Virginia is for lovers, so let’s show them the things we love,” he said.
The musician tells 10 On Your Side it just made sense to produce a festival of this magnitude during College Beach Weekend.
“Well there’s an influx of students,” he said. However, there’s also an influx of outsiders.
The event got its start a few years ago by word of mouth on social media, but it’s been riddled with shootings and other crime. This year, a woman was shot in the neck and officers have arrested dozens of people over the years.
The Virginia Beach Hotel Association met with Pharrell Friday afternoon and thinks his idea could turn things around.
“They have incredible vision for what this festival could be for Virginia Beach,” said Russell Lyons, president of the association. “I think we shouldn’t let the history of that weekend define what it’s going to be in the future.”
Oceanfront City Councilman John Uhrin agrees. “I think if we can get through the logistics of how to make it happen and also how to make it happen in really this short time frame. He may surprise us with some pretty interesting stuff,” he said.
Pharrell and both men said the event will fuel the economy too. “It’s also engaging the local companies here too. We, quite frankly, can’t do this without them,” Williams said.
“That’s the reason that we do a lot of these festivals is to encourage people to come from out of town and have that economic benefit and I think this festival definitely fits that bill,” Uhrin said.
We’re told the people involved in the planning of ‘Something in the Water’ have worked on other big name events like Austin City Limits, South By Southwest and Coachella.
The festival is just in the early planning stages, so there’s no word yet on when it will officially be a go. Stay on WAVY.com for all the details.