A final decision has been made. Pharrell Williams’ Something in the Water (SITW) festival will officially return to its new location in Washington, D.C. this summer.
Earlier this month, Williams, alongside fellow Virginian and musician Pusha T, announced plans to move the festival during an episode of “Desus & Mero.” Now, an official date in the new location has been set.
The two-day festival will commemorate Juneteenth this year on June 17-19 live from the nation’s capital. When first launched in 2019, the event was held in Williams’ hometown of Virginia Beach, however, the pandemic halted the festival’s second installment in 2020 after the tragic death of the entertainer’s relative.
By October 2021, Williams confirmed that the festival would not return to his birthplace due to the city’s “toxic energy.”
The news came in response to the death of Williams’ cousin, Donovan Lynch, who was fatally shot by a Virginia Beach police officer on March 26, 2021.
In November of 2021, city officials revealed that the officer would not be charged, citing self-defense.
A letter composed by Virginia Beach City Manager Patrick Duhaney expressed disappointment in Williams’ decision not to bring the festival back to the city. On the contrary, the renowned musician expressed that he wished that the leaders would have had the same energy about losing the festival when Lynch was shot.
Now, the highly anticipated event will return just a hop and a skip down the road at the nation’s capital and has a lineup that includes artists like Ashanti & Ja Rule, Baby Tate, Chloe x Halle, BIA, 6LACK, Blxst, along with a host of others. Plans to add more artists in the near future are also underway.
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While SITW will no longer take place in the backyard for Virginia Beach residents to attend, the festival is offering bus service from Virginia Beach to D.C. to attend.