VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — City resources are already hard at work preparing their resort beach for Pharrell Williams’ inaugural mega-festival.
Tuesday, crews had already started to build the main stage at 5th Street at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
Last week, Assistant to the City Manager Brian Solis said it would be two-and-a-half times larger than the one that is used for the American Music Festival and the Patriotic Festival.
To prepare, city public works crews are grading the beach to be 220 feet wide, according to a presentation given to City Council during their weekly briefing.
“Since January we have pumped about 56,000 cubic yards of sand [onto the beach],” said Mark Johnson, Director of Public Works for the City of Virginia Beach.
The main concert area that runs between 5th and 10th streets will be bordered by an 800-foot-long sand berm between the festival and the water. There will also be berms built around the stage for the Sunday Pop-Up church on 20th Street.
“The main purpose of that is to protect the stage from bad weather,” Johnson said.
Crews will also be grading the beach at 24th Street for the construction of a basketball court for Adidas, a major festival sponsor.
“It will be built to be flush with the boardwalk,” Solis said. “Youth will be able to register to win a lottery to speak (with and) to do two-on-two basketball game with celebrities.”
Snoop Dogg, Quavo from Migos, Travis Scott and Chris Brown, who are all slated to perform at the festival, have shown their basketball skills in the past. Pharrell also mentioned NBA legend Allen Iverson when he announced the festival.
Right now there’s no official list of just who might show up to the court.
To access the court and concerts, the guard rail between the beach and boardwalk will be removed. Fire Chief Dave Hutchenson said it’s to satisfy fire marshal requirements for the number of people expected.
The boardwalk’s many benches will also be removed prior to the festival.
“Primarily for safety reasons. We want to reduce injuries because the tendency is when there is a concert people want to stand up on chairs. So, we are going to remove those in that area,” Johnson said.
The festival sold out at 35,000 three-day passes about one month in advance.
The weekend of the festival — the final weekend in April — is traditionally when College Beach Weekend is unofficially held in Virginia Beach.