VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – They are three friends who have thrown three R&B Block Parties with DJs at Norfolk Scope.
The one on Oct. 14 which was Norfolk State’s Homecoming weekend drew 5,000 people to Scope Arena, and now they are bringing their producing talents to the 31st Street Stage at the oceanfront for Something in The Water.
“We have 15 D.J.s, that is 5 each day a mix of local talent and national talent,” said Block Party co-founder Antonio Dowe. “We will be on from 4 to 9 p.m. It is free, and we will only be admitting 2,500 at a time. People will be rotating in and out…you need to get here as soon as you can because it is going to fill up. It has been going wild on social media.”
Said co-founder Leon Rothwell: “Even though we are just down the road we were in Norfolk now we are at the beach.”
The 31st Street R&B Block Party is expected to draw a more adult audience environment.
“It is a collaboration among us, so it is a blessing to get together and work with all these people,” Rothwell said.
The third co-founder is Fam-Lay, and he is personal friends with Pharrell.
“When Pharrell chose to bring the festival here, it was about community and the area,” Fam-Lay said.
Rothwell said VIBE made the Block Party successful, and it will happen at 31st Street.
“The VIBE is good,” Rothwell said. “It is like therapy. Everyone listens to R&B. They feel it in their soul, and you can’t come out here and not sing. You can’t come out here and not feel good. It overwhelms you with love, and the energy is so pure and so passionate.”
Rothwell also spoke about it as multi-generational.
“We have music from the 60’s, 70’s, and we are listing to much of what our parents listened to growing up,” Rothwell said.
Fam-Lay, who is close friends with Pharrell and does a podcast with him told us, said “he is like my brother. It’s cool to see all this come to life. I remember seeing him, having conversations about the festival. To see it come to life now with my partners, it’s like we can bring an extra branch to what Pharrell has been trying to do the whole time.”
With these three, expectations are high.
SITW planners expect 50,000 to attend the three-day festival beginning Friday. Fam-Lay is adamant that number is low.
“It is going to be a 100,000,” Fam-Lay said.
They are also sure their 31st Street stage will be the most happening spot, second only to the main stage.
DJs will be working from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, but the park venue will only allow 2,500 at a time.