Pharrell Williams is going back home to his roots — and he’s bringing his famed “Something in the Water” festival with him in 2023. The GRAMMY award winning producer announced the news at his inaugural Mighty Dream Forum, where he was joined on stage by Virginia Beach officials, including Mayor Bobby Dyer, to make the big announcement.
“The demand for the festival in Virginia Beach and The 757 – among the people – has never wavered. If anything it has only intensified,” Williams said in a statement.
“College Beach Weekend continues every year and the city of Virginia Beach leaders have been eager to reconcile and move forward. The environment is finally optimized for return and the announcement will delight everyone – from HBCU students across the eastern USA to the hundreds of small businesses who will play a role in the festival to the cities within the region and neighborhoods that will serve as hosts. I need to come back home. There is a pervasive feeling by almost everyone that the festival belongs in Virginia Beach, and the time is right to bring it back.”
The inaugural Something in the Water took place in Virginia Beach in 2019. After the pandemic postponed the fest for two years, it resurfaced in the Nation’s Capital in 2022 due to a feud between Williams and Virginia Beach officials, where the Virginia native said it had been run by “toxic energy” for too long. This was after his cousin, Donovan Lynch, was shot and killed by a Virginia Beach police officer.
“It is exciting to be so close to the return of “Something in the Water” in Virginia Beach,” says Mayor Bobby Dyer. “We sincerely appreciate Mr. Williams and his willingness to bring this marquee event back home!”
“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Pharrell since 2019, and it means so much to me to have this opportunity to work with such a great person to bring this event back to his home in the Commonwealth of Virginia and specifically the City of Virginia Beach,” says Council Member Aaron Rouse.
Full line up and details to be announced soon. Tickets will go on sale starting Saturday, Nov. 5, at noon.