Something In The Water 2022 Cancelled?

There were two years when Pharrell Williams’ Something in the Water Festival was canceled, but it’s back—and it’s not at Virginia Beach. The event will take place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., from June 17 to June 19. After his cousin was shot and murdered by a Virginia Beach police officer last year, the rapper and record producer decided to relocate the music festival to the District of Columbia.

In a letter to Virginia Beach city manager Patrick Duhaney, Williams explained his decision to relocate the festival. Toxic energy has been running the city, and the city’s leaders have focused more on the festivals than on the murder of his cousin, he said. Shuttles from Virginia Beach to Washington, DC, will be available for $50 one-way and $95 round-trip, but the festival hasn’t completely abandoned the city.

Nearly 70 hip hop, pop, and R&B musicians will perform throughout the course of the three-day festival. Up-and-comers like Earthgang, Omar Apollo, and Baby Tate will play alongside Grammy-nominated musicians like Chloe x Halle, Tyler the Creator, and Usher.

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Before the pandemic forced its postponement in 2020 and 2021, the event was held on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront in April 2019. According to a letter sent to the municipal manager in September 2021, Williams stated that he would cancel the 2022 festival due to the “toxic aura” of the city. His cousin Donovon Lynch was shot and killed by a Virginia Beach police officer in March 2021 and a special grand jury found no probable cause to indict the officer, which he said prompted him to cancel the event, which generated $24 million in economic benefit for the city in 2019.

According to Williams’ social media channels and the festival’s website, however, the festival will be moving to Washington, D.C., effective Tuesday. According to Visit Fairfax’s president and CEO, Barry Biggar, the festival’s impact on neighboring Northern Virginia communities “depends on how busy and how much they charge the hotels in D.C. “We’ll have to wait and see,” he said.

“Something in the Water — when you talk DMV, people always say, ‘Man, whether it’s Missy Elliott or Timbaland, or Chad Hugo or Michael Vick, it must be something in the water, if you’re in the DMV,'” Williams said in a January interview with Virginia Business.

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