Something’s in the water after all

Musician, producer and Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams has announced a three-day festival named “Something in the Water,” which is set to take place this spring, from April 26-28.

This cultural event is set to take place during college beach weekend, the time where many colleges join together on the oceanfront for laughter, drinks and a host of parties.

The Hampton Roads Area is home to beach weekend not only because of the ocean front, but because it’s home to five of Virginia’s notable colleges: Old Dominion University, Virginia Wesleyan University, Hampton University, Christopher Newport University and Norfolk State University.

Senior at Virginia Wesleyan Caimaya Ashton is interested in attending the concert. “I’m very excited about the concert, I think it’s great that Pharrell wants to come back to where he started from and give us a fun beach weekend to look forward too, I just hope for the best with this festival because people do get a little crazy,” Ashton said.

While college beach week has been a thing for many years, no organized events have been planned during the highly anticipated weekend that has taken the wrong turn many times.

Many Virginia Beach natives view beach week as a nightmare where young adults drink, use drugs, fight, vandalize and in many cases die. This can be due to the fact that there is nothing for people to do besides get intoxicated and slowly pace back and forth on the crowded boardwalk. Many businesses do not even wish to open for these three days.

“I’ve seen many fights and shootings during beach weekend. Some being my own friends. It can get hectic really fast. You have to be on your P’s and Q’s. It’s dangerous,” former Marlin Ezekiel Ingram said.

The hope is that with this festival crime rates and violence surrounding this weekend will come to a halt. While crime decreases, funding for upcoming arenas, and shopping centers will increase.  The Virginia Beach council looks at this as a win-win situation.

Award-winning artist Pharrell Williams stated the importance of the festival, “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,” Pharrell Said. “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.”

As many as 25,000 people a day could attend Something in the Water. The festival won’t just focus on the concert. According to the Virginia Pilot’s article, “Something in the Water,” the film “The Burial of Kojo,” by Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Company will be screened, followed by a discussion. The film will even premiere on Netflix on March 31. There is potential for some of our Marlins to be on the big screen.

Not only will there be a movie screening, the festival will also include a pop-up church service, karaoke featuring trap music as well as moments with wellness expert Deepak Chopra and Geoffrey Canada, the president of the Harlem Children’s Zone whose work has transformed the lives of thousands of inner-city youth.

Pharrell first made the announcement about the festival via twitter video on March 3. On Friday, March 9, a few more big name artists were added to the Something in the Water festival lineup.

“I’m excited about the concert, between the variety in performers and price, I cannot complain. It’s gonna be a movie and I can’t wait,” junior Johnathan Croft said.

Gwen Stefani, Usher, Snoop Dogg and Diddy are now listed under the “Pharrell & Friends” section on the event announcement. Some of the other artists listed are Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert, Jaden Smith,Dave Matthews Band, Jhené Aiko, Kaytranada, Maggie Rogers, Migos, Diplo, Deepak Chopra, Radiant Children, Dram, Missy Elliott, Mac Demarco, Geoffrey Canada, Trap Karaoke Ferg, SZA, Pusha T,.Kaws ,Masego, John-Robert, J Balvin, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Pharrell & Friends, Janelle Monae, Virgil Abloh, Leikeli47 and Rosalía.

This Coachella-like event is expected to see 100,000 people to attend the Something in the Water festival by Sunday.

Tickets went on sale March 8 at noon. For now, organizers are sticking to selling three-day passes for $150 and a $450 VIP options. Three-day passes will be available first. A single-day option could be considered depending on interest. Prices will go up as the concert gets closer.

Ashllee Spurlock