VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — City Council officially put their financial backing behind the “Something in the Water” festival, along with the complementary use of their venues.
On Tuesday, the Council unanimously approved spending $250,000 to be a sponsor of the initial “Something in the Water” music and cultural festival.
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.
The funds coming from the Tourism Investment Program (TIP), which is funded mainly by the hotel and meal taxes, will be well spent, according to Councilman Aaron Rouse.
“You look at what is coming out of the TIP fund, (it’s) something that the fund was designed primarily for,” Rouse said, “to help promote and encourage our tourism industry here. This does just that. When you look at the return we are definitely going to get. This is a smart investment going forward.”
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 each day.
The sponsorship authorization also included the city’s agreement to provide the use of the Virginia Beach Convention Center, the Oceanfront stages and services of Police and Public Works free of charge.
While some citizens argued tax dollars of any sort shouldn’t go towards entertainment events, City Manager Dave Hansen pointed out that city taxpayers were already paying out a lot of money in overtime to handle College Beach Weekend.