Pharrell Williams is a man of many talents, and now he can add festival organizer to that list. The producer/singer/rapper/fashion mogul welcomed the world to his hometown of Virginia Beach, Va. for the inaugural Something In The Water, a festival chock full of superstars and events that delighted both locals and visitors. From Jay-Z to Deepak Chopra to Virgil Abloh to Sylvia Rhone, Pharrell leaned heavily on the shield of his peers in the music and fashion industries to create something that hasn’t been seen in Virginia in well, ever.
Something In The Water was not just another Coachella or Lollapalooza — and it was clear that Pharrell, his team, and the folks who partnered with him were intentional about making sure the show went smoothly. 35,000 tickets for the event sold out far in advance, and beach accommodations were snapped up just as quickly. Something In The Water was essentially a proof of concept that Virginia could support this level and style of event. Something In The Water took place a few months shy of the 30th anniversary of what are now known as the Greekfest Riots.
In the summer of 1989, black college students partying in Virginia Beach over the Labor Day weekend clashed with police, prompting city leaders to call in the National Guard. Something In The Water also fell on the same weekend as College Beach Weekend, an event which has been a point of contention in recent years. Incidents of unanticipated violence rattled residents and made it more challenging for students to gather. Something In The Water is Williams’ love letter to his home city and state as it is a festival and community-organizing event.
Last October, Pharrell Williams and his longtime manager, Ron Laffitte, met with officials from the city of Virginia Beach, Va., the Grammy-winning producer’s hometown, to pitch a new festival, Something In The Water’, that they wanted to launch this summer. “Most people thought we were insane,” says Laffitte, who was told that 2020 would be more realistic. But by mid-November, the Virginia Beach City Council had approved the idea, and on March 3, Williams unveiled a three-day lineup that includes Missy Elliott, Dave Matthews Band and Travis Scott.
“Something in the Water is a true celebration of the people of my hometown,” says Williams. “It’s an experience they deserve, [while] guests are going to get a peek into what we’re all about.” Beyond the economic boost that a festival can bring to a city, Laffitte says the pair won over Virginia Beach with their simple goal: cater to, and showcase, the people of the city. “There’s nothing about where [Williams] comes from that should have given him the hope that he could have the remarkable life he has,” says Laffitte. “What he wants to illustrate by coming back to Virginia Beach is that anyone who lives here can have that too.”
Producer and Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams announced on Friday he is planning a festival called ‘Something in the Water‘ for next year’s College Beach Weekend. Williams says he’s working with city leaders to plan the event. It will include various types of activities at the Virginia Beach Convention Center involving fashion, music, food, guest speakers and more. The proposed festival will be held the last weekend in April to coincide with College Beach Weekend at the Oceanfront, according to Williams.
On Saturday (May 19), thousands of patrons descended on the Barker Hangar to attend The Infatuation’s second annual EEEEEATSCON food festival in Los Angeles. Back better than ever, the festival this year featured more than 20 food vendors and a revamped slate of entertainment for guests to enjoy while tasting some of the best food L.A. has to offer. Among the popular food vendor at the festival was Williams Family Kitchen and Baby Blues BBQ. Williams Family Kitchen is a brand manufactured by consumer good company Dean & Deluca, boasting the delectable recipes of superstar artist, producer and mogul Pharrell Williams‘ father, Pharaoh.
When asked about how the partnership with Pharrell came about, Hall responded by saying, “Dean and Deluca was a company that Pharrell knew for a while and respected so it was a perfect fit. His father is very savvy in the kitchen and a bit of an artist in that area so it made sense to collaborate.” Recognizing the rising profile of the West Coast in food culture (“Los Angeles is a hot spot“), Hall spoke on knowing about EEEEATSCON and how it was a way to bring the sauce to L.A.
The decision to partner up with Baby Blues was not a new collaboration. He harkened to their previous collaboration during the Roots Family Picnic in Philadelphia. He also noted that “Baby Blues BBQ is a family-owned brand, and the owner is originally from L.A.,” showing the parallels of the brand with the Williams Family Kitchen. When asked where people could find the Nono sauce, Hall mentioned it will be available next month in all six Dean & Deluca stores as well as online at deananddeluca.com.
If you missed the N*E*R*D performance from the Netherland Festival PinkPop in 2004, here is a re-upload by Forum Member Rafito, who also runs the Brasilian Pharrell Fan Page pharrellwilliams.br, make sure to bookmark the site and check out N*E*R*D’s PinkPop performance below. Artwork by Rafito.
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