Christian Thomas | Staff Writer
Something in the Water will not be returning to the area anytime soon. The famous spring music festival turned Virginia Beach staple is canceled until further notice. The decision follows several challenges plaguing the festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From postponing to cancellations, the final straw was when festival creator, Pharrell Williams’ cousin, Donovan Lynch, was shot and killed by Virginia Beach police officers last year. The Grammy award-winning artist expressed his disappointments with the city in a letter to Virginia Beach City Manager Patrick Duhaney, saying the city has been “run by toxic energy.”
The festival was a campus favorite in its first year, and it hosted acts like Missy Elliot, Migos, Pusha T, J. Balvin and Anderson .Paak. For upperclassmen, the event served as an exciting conclusion for their earlier college years.
Christina Buie, a graduating senior and sociology major, said she remembers how huge it was her first year of college.
“I remember when it happened during my freshman year and it was crazy, the traffic to Virginia Beach was all the way down to Newport News,” Buie said. “And I saw on many people’s Instagram stories all of the big-time artists there like Lil Uzi.”
Buie said she thinks the festival’s departure is such a loss for the area.
“Something in the Water was one of the highlights of my freshman year, even though I didn’t go,” she said. “It was right on the beach, which is a unique concert experience that I wanted to experience. Hopefully, wherever they go next, it can still achieve that type of experience though it will be hard.”
The four-day festival hosted several activities during its run, including a film screening, TRAP Karaoke and a pop-up church service. The festival from three years ago has yet to be replicated.
Mayor Duhaney said that the festival brought Virginia Beach and the surrounding areas $24 million with media coverage totaling $41 million, and its cancellation is a huge economic loss for the city.
As of now, it is unknown what’s next for Something in the Water.