After thunderstorms forced a cancellation of the first day of Pharrell’s Something in the Water Festival in Virginia Beach, Skateboard P pulled off a number of moves to make SITW a festival to remember in its inaugural year.
The weekend began as heavy rain and lighting struck down on Virginia Beach’s Oceanfront just as gates were about to open. With scheduled performances from Virginia legends like Dave Matthews, Pharrell himself, and Missy Elliott, locals and visitors alike could not wait for the memorable opening night. However, the rain-or-shine festival had no choice but to cancel the first round of artists and prepare for the next day as heavy wind and lighting made for dangerous conditions throughout the evening. Although Mother Nature was to blame, fans couldn’t help but wonder if Pharrell’s Oceanside festival would become another Fyre Fest, just two years after Ja Rule’s viral disaster.
The narrative changed completely as Pharrell did everything in his power to make sure that Saturday night popped off. While prior commitments meant artists like Gwen Stefani and Dave Matthews could not hang around for another evening, Pharrell’s headlining set on Saturday night, which followed a huge performance from Travis Scott, was full of guest performances, including appearances from rap heavyweights and music legends. In one set alone, artists like JAY-Z, Diddy, Usher, Busta Rhymes, Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Tyler, the Creator and many more all blessed the stage, including performers who stayed in town an extra night to give fans their money’s worth.
Pharrell delivered a number of his hits spanning decades, while some of his best friends and frequent collaborators performed some of their favorite songs, all while paying respect to Virginia Beach and shining a light on what Pharrell has done for his community.
Then with Saturday in the rearview, Sunday’s performers delivered great sets of their own, as names like Anderson .Paak, Pusha-T, Fabolous, DRAM, Jhené Aiko and more all blessed the stage to close out the weekend.
Something in the Water Festival shattered even the highest of expectations and when thrown a curveball the festival answered with an emphatic home run. The fest delivered all-star musicians, great food, an art installation by Kaws, a pop-up church and an A+ location. Virginia Beach was in desperate need of an event to restore its reputation as a quality resort city, and SITW has more than proven itself to be a viable solution.
- Words & Photography: Dan Garcia