It seems as though Pharrell Williams will not be returning his Something In the Water festival to his hometown in Virginia Beach for the year 2022. The festival, which started in 2019, was a cultural experience at the Oceanfront of VA beach for attendees to listen to their industry favorites.
Williams shared a letter to the city’s manager, Patrick Duhaney explaining his decision to pull the festival from continuing in the future due to the city’s lack of justice in the death of his 25-year-old cousin, Donovon Lynch.
“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 local businesses,” Williams stated in the letter. “We’ve 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.”
“The toxic energy that changed the narrative several times around the homicide of my cousin, Donovan Lynch, a citizen of Virginia, is the same toxic energy that changed the narrative around the mass murder and senseless loss of life at building number 2,” he continued.
In September, Virginia Beach mayor Bobby Dyer stated that he wanted to talk things out with the mega-producer. “The manager and I want to connect with Pharrell, sit down, talk things out and that’s what we’re going to take. We are going to try to be positive about this and we are going to try to make a case that, you know, we are moving forward,” he stated.
Judging by Williams’ decision to pull the festival, the city of VA Beach may have more work to do. Check out the letter below.