Something in the Water is a success for Virginia Beach

By Natalie Hockaday, News Editor

Originally published May 18, 2019.


Thousands of people gathered for the Something in the Water (SITW) festival last weekend as this was the first major music festival that came to Virginia. This is mostly credited to Pharrell Williams, a Hampton roads native who used his stardom and connections to host this magnificent event.

“I mainly wanted to go to the Something in the Water festival because I love Pharrell and I knew this event was going to be something amazing for Norfolk/Virginia Beach area and Virginia as a whole,” said Lauryn Taylor, a student at ODU.


The festival was announced March 4th, 2019 and tickets went sale March 8th. Ticket prices varied between the early bird special of $150 for general admission, $175 for general admission, $195 for general admission, early bird special for VIP being $450 and regular VIP admission for $500. These passes were valid all three days of the festival. The passes were mailed out prior to the festival and were in the form of a wristband that could not be taken off once it was put on. Many people found this out the hard way due to them putting the wristband on prior to the festival. Festival goers had to register their wristband online before the festival in order to enter and exit the festival.


The festival is taking place the same weekend as Beach Weekend, where college students come down to Virginia Beach to hang out and party. As people made their way down to the beach on Friday, the weather was not cooperating with the constant rain throughout the day. The festival sent updates via twitter and email that pushed back the start of the festival. Eventually the they announced on twitter at 7:06 pm that the festival would be cancelled for the remainder of the day stating through twitter “ Due to the impact caused by today’s severe weather at the beach venue, we are sorry to announce that we are unable to put on a show tonight. Stay safe and we look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow.”


The artists that were supposed to perform on Friday were Radiant children, Masego, Maggie Rogers, Lil Uzi Vert, Janelle Monáe, Migos, Dave Matthews Band, Pharrell & Friends and Diplo. Some of the artists reached out to the public through social media for apologies that they were unable to perform due to the storm. Some of the activities that took place Friday were Breaking in Tech and the SITW Pitch Competition.

Balloons in the crowd at the SITW Festival

As Day two of the festival approached many were hopeful for a successful day. The sun was out, the weather was warm and festival goers were ready to have a good time. Expected artists that were to perform on Saturday were Radiant Children, Amber Mark, Rosalía, Mac Demarco, Ferg, Kaytranada, J Balvin, SZA, Travis Scott, Pharrell & Friends and Virgil Abloh. The crowds were packed to the fullest and the chants of the song lyrics from people’s favorite artists could be heard through the beach.


When it was Pharrell’s turn to perform, he surprised everyone with the number of friends he brought out to perform with him. Amongst the friends Pharrell brought out were Diddy, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dog, Usher, Timbaland, Tyler the Creator, Charlie Wilson and Jay-Z. The element of surprise was definitely successful with bringing out Jay-Z. In the days prior to the festival, people were suspecting that Beyoncé would make an appearance at the festival and rumors of sightings of her were spread through the Hampton Roads.


“For the next festival I would love to see more celebrities. This year Pharrell did mainly acts who were from Virginia, but I think I it could be cool if he could bring celebrities from all over. Also, I think it would be cool if he gave each year a theme for Something in the Water,” said Taylor.

Some of the activities that took place on Saturday were the conversations at the convention center, basketball skills challenges at the Adidas HU court, Timberland pop-up park, screening of the CNN original series “The Redemption Project” with Van Jones and more.

SITW Beach Stage

Sunday closed the festival by beginning with a free pop-up church service. The church service was free to the public and it included performances from Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, and the ODU Ebony Impact Gospel Choir. The service also had a brunch provided by Walmart. The line-up for Sunday performances were John-Robert, Kap G, Leikeli47, Dram, Jhené Aiko, Pusha T, Teddy Riley & Friends, Charlie Wilson, Chris Brown and Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals.


Prior to the festival people were concerned about the weather and parking however the festival provided bus services to pick up and drop off festival goers around the Virginia Beach area.

“My concerns were mostly if I was going to be hydrated and nourished while waiting during the concert and festival as a whole,” said Ciera Seymour.


The weather may have impacted the festival the first day, but the rest of the festival was a success the remaining days. Some wish to see a broader range of acts at next year’s festival and hope that there is less rain next time.