Pharrell launching ‘Something in the Water’ in Va. Beach

3/8/2019, 12:02 p.m.
Singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams is heading home to Virginia Beach to launch a new music and culture festival.
Pharrell Williams


Singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams is heading home to Virginia Beach to launch a new music and culture festival.

The Grammy-winning superstar announced Monday “Something in the Water, a multi-day event he’s calling a “cultural experience” that will debut April 26 through 28. He will perform on a stage set on the beach. Other performers include Missy Elliott, Travis Scott, Migos, Dave Matthews Band, Janelle Monae, Diplo, SZA, Lil Uzi Vert and Pusha T.

Tickets go on sale Friday.

Mr. Williams said in an interview with The Associated Press that he created the festival to give back to the community that raised him and helped him achieve his goals and dreams.

“Virginians are taste-makers,” he said, naming famous Virginians from Ella Fitzgerald to Allen Iverson to Missy Elliott.

“Virginia has been home to some of the most gifted artists, athletes and scientists to ever live. And it makes sense. The people of Virginia are one-of-a-kind — uniquely gritty, bold and brilliant,” Mr. Williams said.

“Virginia needs this right now, and the world will see what we Virginians have known all along — there really is ‘Something in the Water.’ ”

The festival won’t just focus on music. The film “The Burial of Kojo,” acquired by Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY company, will be screened, followed by a discussion. The film will premiere on Netflix on March 31.

“Something in the Water” also will include a pop-up church service, karaoke featuring trap music, as well as moments with wellness expert Deepak Chopra and Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children’s Zone whose work has transformed the lives of thousands of inner-city youths.

Other musicians set to perform include Jaden Smith, Anderson .Paak, Kaytranada, Ferg, Jhene Aiko, Rosalia, Leikeli47, Maggie Rogers, Mac DeMarco, Masego, Virgil Abloh and John-Robert.

“It’s been fun curating the artist-performers,” said the Oscar-nominated Mr. Williams, who has produced hits for everyone from Jay-Z to Britney Spears.

Virginia Beach Mayor Robert “Bobby” Dyer said the festival “is going to be a transformative event for our city.”

“We are absolutely thrilled with the plans Pharrell and his team have for this year. There will be no doubt that what is ‘in the water’ around Virginia Beach is ‘something’ very special,” he said.

Details and tickets: www.somethinginthewater.com.