Volunteers help cleanup after inaugural Something in the Water festival

Volunteers join in to clean beach after Something in the Water

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — By all accounts, the inaugural Something in the Water festival appeared to be a massive success for Virginia Beach.

The three-day festival invaded the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, featuring show-stopping concert performances in front of throngs of excited fans and an extended pop-up church service.

The enthusiastic crowds came out in droves Saturday and Sunday, despite a rocky start on Friday that saw the concerts canceled amid severe weather.

VIDEO: Chopper 10 above massive Saturday crowds at SITW

Saturday’s adjusted concert schedule was punctuated by the somewhat-surprise-appearance of Jay-Z during Pharrell and Friends. Concert-goers were suitibly excited when Jay-Z took the stage.

The Sunday festivities featured even more surprises as Virginia natives Chris Brown and Trey Songz delighted many people in the crowd.

The good news for fans — and perhaps the city — is that Pharrell said he is excited about doing the festival again next year.

Now, city workers and volunteers will cleanup in the aftermath.

Drew Lankford, Virginia Beach’s director of Public Works, said the amount of trash left over from Something in the Water is similar to what is usually seen at the American Music and Patriotic festivals.

Crews were out early Monday morning clearing out trash and recycling from the pop-up church area.

The city’s recycling coordinator, Kristi Rines, said, “We had volunteers actually reaching out to us, asking to be a part of something bigger.” 

Rines called the outreach from people fantastic. “Anytime that we can get people to roll up their sleeves, get their hands a little dirty, we’ll take it,” she added.

Volunteers gathered at the ViBe Creative District at the corner of Cypress Avenue and 18th Street to help with the post-festival cleanup.

“Even if I wasn’t there I wanted to help,” said Jakari Jackson-Dinnall.

Jackson-Dinnall said he is just following the foundation Pharrell has already laid down.

“It’s nice to see people giving back and stuff, especially like people who are from here and people who have made it as big as him. Giving back to the area they’re from. It really means a lot,” he said

So with their bags and gloves, they came together to send a message 

“Clean the beach up. Keep our beach clean!” Jakari said.

“It’s touching. It truly means a lot. I think the more that we can all do the better for the environment for our kids, and for their kids, so it touches my heart, said volunteer April Strickland.

Jakari said this will also help change the narrative.

“This is definitely a game changer. It shows people basically that we can have a good time and have fun, have big events like this without anything going wrong, or any negativity,” he said.

There is still clean up going on the beach. If you’re in this area, you’re asked to stay out of the way of big machines and equipment so they can clean up and get out without a hitch. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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