Something in the Water festival was launched in 2019, and after taking two years off due to the global pandemic, Pharrell has confirmed that the event will not return to Virginia Beach in 2022.
In a letter addressed to Virginia Beach city manager Patrick Duhaney, Pharrell wrote that the festival was launched to “ease racial tension, to unify the region, bring about economic development opportunities and broaden the horizons of the local business community.”
Pharrell continued, “I love my city, but for far too long it has been run by – and – with toxic energy. 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 added, “Until the gatekeepers and the powers-that-be consider the citizens and the consumer base, and no longer view the idea of human rights for all as a controversial idea… I don’t have a problem with the city, but I realise the city hasn’t valued my proposed solutions, either.”
— Ali Weatherton 13News Now (@13AliWeatherton) October 5, 2021
Pharrell’s responding letter comes after Duhaney wrote to Pharrell expressing “disappointment” after learning that Something in the Water may not return in 2022.
Back in March, Pharrell’s 25-year-old cousin Donovan Lynch was fatally shot by a Virginia Beahc police offier. The same police officer also killed 29-year-old Deshayla Harris, and injured eight more. The officer who killed Lynch didn’t have his body camera turned on.