Pharrell Williams launches art, culture, music festival

The Virginia Beach festival will feature Williams, Travis Scott, Migos, Dave Matthews Band and more

Pharrell Williams has announced his newest venture – Something in the Water, a multi-day music festival and cultural experience on the beach in his hometown of Virginia Beach. The first annual event is produced by Live Nation and will feature weekend performances by Williams and friends, Travis Scott, Migos, Dave Matthews Band, Missy Elliott, J Balvin, Janelle Monae, SZA, Lil Uzi Vert, Diplo, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Pusha T, Kaytranada, Ferg, Jhené Aiko, Rosalía, Maggie Rogers, Mac DeMarco, Masego, Virgil Abloh, DRAM, Leikeli47, Jaden Smith, Radiant Children, John-Robert and more.

Tickets for the first ever Something in the Water will go on sale beginning Friday, March 8th at noon local time at somethinginthewater.com.

“Allen Iverson. Missy Elliott. Dave Matthews Band. Ella Fitzgerald. Virginia has been home to some of the most gifted artists, athletes, and scientists to ever live. And it makes sense – the people of Virginia are one-of-a-kind: uniquely gritty, bold, and brilliant,” Williams says. “For the first time, we are harnessing that energy, bringing the great minds of our time and the biggest brands in the world to this great place, and letting the inspiration flow and well deserved opportunities unfold. Virginia needs this right now and the world will see what we Virginians have known all along: there really is Something in the Water.”

Something in the Water’s mission is to unite the community and celebrate the diversity and magic of Virginia Beach. It is an opportunity to bring the best of what Williams has encountered around the world back to his hometown. The weekend celebrates opportunity and the chance to empower everyone from the youth to the small business owners.

The weekend will also include a special screening and conversation presented by Ava Duvernay’s Array, her independent film distribution collaborative dedicated to the amplification of independent films by filmmakers of color and women of all kinds. The film featured will be festival favorite The Burial of Kojo written and directed by multi-disciplinary artist Samuel “Blitz” Bazawule. The Burial of Kojo has the dynamic gaze of magical realism and Afro-futurism, Bazawule chronicles the tale of two brothers through a gifted girl who travels beautiful lands that exist between life and death. The Burial of Kojo premieres on Netflix on March 31st. Set on the beach and under the stars, the experience will be influenced by sounds, visuals and performances drawn from African storytelling as well as traditional food and drinks. The screening will be followed by a robust conversation.

On April 26-28 musicians, personalities, scholars, students, artists, activists and athletes will converge on Virginia Beach to activate and amplify, collaborate and co-author, shift and shape the future. Other cultural activations will include moments with Deepak Chopra and Geoffrey Canada, as well as a Pop-Up Church Service and TRAP Karaoke.

Williams is working hand in hand with the city of Virginia Beach to create a weekend celebrating the beauty and diversity of Virginia Beach with a 3-day experience encapsulating music, education, sports, art and culture, health and wellness and more. Encompassing the Convention Center, Vibe Arts District, a stretch of Atlantic Ave and the beach, the weekend will have something for everyone, and all ages. Something in the Water signals to the community that global brands and some of the world’s brightest, most creative and gifted minds are showing up for them.

Something in the Water will create a legacy highlighting the pillars that Williams is so personally passionate about shining a light upon and celebrating his hometown community. The weekend aims to give back to the community that he so passionately supports.

“This is going to be a transformative event for our city,” comments Mayor Robert “Bobby” Dyer. “We are absolutely thrilled with the plans Pharrell and his team have for this year. There will be no doubt that what is ‘in the water’ around Virginia Beach is ‘something’ very special.”

Festival partners include Adidas, Sony, Uber Eats, Billionaire Boys Club, and the City of Virginia Beach. These global brands are descending upon Virginia Beach to engage the community with programming highlighting sports, entertainment, technology, empowerment, entrepreneurship and more. Charitable partners include From One Hand to AnOTHER and An Achievable Dream.

Additional weekend activations will be announced soon.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.