Virginia loses $24 million in financial affect as Pharrell’s Something within the Water music competition kicks off at present in D.C. | Leisure

Something within the Water is again, however not at Virginia Beach. The competition’s creator, Pharrell Williams, moved the occasion to Washington, D.C., as a result of he was upset about Virginia Beach’s response after his cousin was shot by a police officer in March 2021.

Williams, a Virginia Beach native, initially held the competition in 2019 in Virginia Beach to rejoice his hometown. The occasion was postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

On March 26, 2021, Williams’ cousin, Donovon Lynch, 25, was shot and killed by a Virginia Beach police officer, Solomon Simmons III. The incident occurred whereas the officer’s physique digicam was off, and Simmons claims that Lynch pointed a weapon at him earlier than he shot him, in accordance with reporting from the Washington Post.

In a since-deleted Instagram publish, Williams conveyed his grief and known as for a federal investigation of his cousin’s demise. A grand jury cleared Simmons of wrongdoing.

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In 2021, Virginia Beach City Manager Patrick A. Duhaney despatched a letter to Williams imploring him to rethink shifting the competition. Duhaney said that “the city experienced record-breaking economic success” and the occasion had a “total economic impact of over $24 million on both Virginia Beach and the surrounding region.”

But Williams introduced that Something within the Water wouldn’t return to Virginia Beach as a consequence of “toxic energy” in native authorities.

In a letter responding to Duhaney, Williams wrote: “When we did the festival, it was to ease racial tension, to unify the region, bring about economic development opportunities and broaden the horizons of the local business community. We achieved those things! I wish the same energy I’ve felt from Virginia Beach leadership upon losing the festival would have been similarly channeled following the loss of my relative’s life.”

“I love my city but, for far too long it has been run by — and with toxic energy,” Williams wrote.

In addition to the situation change, the competition is now hosted over the Juneteenth vacation weekend.

The 2019 competition was held over College Beach Weekend on the finish of April. This transfer is intentional as Williams was an advocate for Juneteenth to turn into a state and nationwide vacation.

On June 16, 2020, Williams joined Gov. Ralph Northam within the announcement of Juneteenth as a state paid vacation, delivering a speech about Juneteenth’s significance.

“This is a very special moment, very special,” Williams mentioned. “This is a big display of progress, and I am grateful for Virginia and for us leading the way.”

Williams mentioned this was step one, and he inspired all Virginia companies to provide everybody a paid vacation.

“Their lives matter, their descendants’ lives matter, Black lives matter in the eyes of the commonwealth,” Williams mentioned. “I can’t say that it always has but finally we recognize that Black lives absolutely matter.”

The following yr in 2021, President Joe Biden signed a invoice that made Juneteenth a federal vacation. To rejoice, Williams moved the Something within the Water competition dates to coincide with the vacation.

In a information launch, Williams mentioned he’s bringing the competition “to the nation’s capital, on an important weekend in the country’s history, to recognize that something that has been flowing through the country’s soil for over 400 years.”

But Williams nonetheless provided unique presale tickets to Virginians, and the competition coordinated working buses from the Hampton Roads space to D.C. for $50 to $95.

In 2019, the competition bought round 35,000 tickets, however this yr’s competition is anticipated to attract 50,000, in accordance with Fox 5, a D.C. tv station.

This yr’s Something within the Water music competition contains a lengthy checklist of high performers, together with Calvin Harris; Chloe x Halle; Dave Matthews Band; Lil Baby; Lil Uzi Vert; Pusha T; Tyler, The Creator; Usher; and extra.

The competition kicked off Friday and can conclude on Sunday.

For particulars about Something within the Water, go to somethinginthewater.com.

Pharrell Williams is bringing again his Something within the Water Festival after a two-year hiat…

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