The producer-rapper, songwriter, fashion designer, philanthropist, and entrepreneur announced the lineup for his personal festival set on Thursday (June 9). The lineup includes SZA, Q-Tip, the former brother-duo Clipse, Justin Timberlake, N.O.R.E, and more. The festival has also announced additional performers on the bill including Summer Walker, Tyler The Creator, Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, J Balvin, 21 Savage, and even local DC groups Bad Brains: A Tribute by Black Dots, TOB, and YungManny. Amongst many other surprise artists, Pharrell will also be hitting the stage.
The inaugural festival originally took place in 2019 in Pharrell’s hometown of Virginia Beach. However, due to a clash with the city management, following the shooting death of his cousin Donovon Lynch in 2021, the “Happy” singer decided to move the event to D.C. Lynch was gunned down by a Virginia Beach police officer in March 2021, which, along with the 2020’s pandemic, further delayed SITW festival dates. Describing Virginia Beach’s energy as “toxic” following the incident, Pharrell called for a federal investigation into his cousin’s death resulting in the involved officer’s conviction with proven probable cause for shooting Lynch.
The nine-time GRAMMY winner optimistically told USA Today, “I’m bringing a lot of Virginia with me. It’s love, love, love. We just want to continue to be solution-based. Where our solutions are not necessarily wanted, we respect that and will take it to a higher platform. We are all human beings, after all.” D.C. is approximately three hours from Virginia Beach.
D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser added, “If you’re celebrating music, if you’re celebrating Black excellence, if you’re drawing attention to the people who have dedicated their lives to knocking down barriers and uplifting our communities — then there is no better place to do that than in Washington, DC. We are proud to be working with Pharrell to bring SOMETHING IN THE WATER to DC for Juneteenth weekend. DC is open and we are ready to celebrate.”
The three-day festival will continue its traditions with community initiatives like Pop-up Church, Community Conversations, DC+ XQ Community Market, DC High School Graduation Ceremonies, and Black Ambition Events and Opportunities. SITW will be sponsored by Adidas, BBC ICECREAM, Google, TikTok, and more.
The Something in the Water festival takes place in Washington, D.C. during Juneteenth weekend (June 17-19). The event will also be exclusively live-streamed on Amazon Music. Three-day passes are on sale now.