In late 2021, Pharrell Williams announced he would pull his highly successful Something in the Water Festival from his hometown of Virginia Beach, and move it to Washington, D.C. for Juneteenth 2022. However, the entertainer just announced the 2023 installment will return home to the 757—a move that many are praising.
Williams, a native of the area, called out local leaders in 2021 for their handling of the police shooting of his cousin Donovan Lynch, which resulted in his cousin's death. He described the city as having a toxic energy, which ultimately led him to relocate the 2021 event after being postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic. City officials urged him to reconsider his decision.
“I love the city of Virginia Beach and most importantly, our people,” Williams penned in an open letter dated Oct. 5, 2021. “It's a part of my beloved 757. When we did the festival, it was to ease racial tension, to unify the region, bring about economic development opportunities and broaden the horizons of the local business community. We achieved those things! I wish the same energy I've felt from Virginia Beach leadership upon losing the festival would have been similarly channeled following the loss of my relative's life.”
But, it seems the “Happy” singer is singing a different tune as it was announced today that the multi-day music festival would return to Virginia Beach on April 28, 2023 - April 30, 2023.
While the lineup has yet to be announced, past musical guests have included: 21 Savage, Ashanti, EBONY Power 100 Entertainment Powerhouses awardee Usher, EBONY Power 100 Performer Tobe Nwigwe, as well as performances by Pharrell and his own surprise guests.
Tickets for the 2023 Something in the Water Festival go on sale to the public on November 5, 2022 at 12pm ET. There will be a special locals only sale also on November 5, 2022 from 10am to 5pm at the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater box office.