Music festivals are changing. Artists are curating their own lineups and generating their own buzz, based on their talent and credibility. Rather than putting out a lineup with major headliners simply to sell tickets, artists are enlisting the help of their community of fellow artists to support a cause, increase visibility for up and coming artists or to showcase diversity across lineups. Pharrell Williams is the latest artist to create his own music festival, to be held in Virginia Beach from April 26-28. Something in The Water is being hosted in Pharrell’s hometown of Virginia Beach in order to “unite the community and celebrate the diversity and magic of Virginia Beach,” according to a press release. Williams expressed his love for Virginia Beach and the locals that have grown from the area saying, “Allen Iverson. Missy Elliott. Dave Matthews Band. Ella Fitzgerald. Virginia has been home to some of the most gifted artists, athletes, and scientists to ever live. And it makes sense — the people of Virginia are one-of-a-kind: uniquely gritty, bold, and brilliant.”
With that said, the inaugural music festival will combine music, technology, art and community to Virginia Beach. From Sony to Adidas to Verizon, there will be unique activations for attendees to check out, along with performances at the Oceanfront stages and the Virginia Beach Convention Center. The lineup features Maggie Rogers, Migos, Travis Scott, Pusha T, Dave Matthews Band and more, putting diversity and inclusion at the forefront of this fest. Check out our top five artists to see at Something in The Water below.
1. Mac DeMarco
This Canadian singer-songwriter is gearing up to release his fourth studio album, Here Comes the Cowboy, and will be making appearances at a slew of major festivals, including Something in The Water. DeMarco’s quirky personality takes his guitar-driven music to a playful zone, and is fully amplified in his live shows.
2. Virgil Abloh
The founder and CEO of fashion house Off-White and artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s collection, Abloh is a man of many creative talents. Not to mention he’s a longtime friend of Kanye West. As a DJ, Abloh offers a boost of energy to crowds across the globe. His sets have been known to feature tracks from Travis Scott, Kanye West and Drake. Prepare to party.
Diplo doesn’t really stop, does he? He’s currently a resident DJ for Wynn nightlife and is slated to headline the official afterparty for this year’s Billboard Music Awards on May 1. But before that, he’ll be at Something in The Water. If you’ve never seen Diplo’s live set, you are in for a wild ride. He always finds a way to charm audiences into dancing, singing, jumping, and much more. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s adorable (hi, dimple).
4. Janelle Monae
Powerhouse artist Janelle Monae jumped into this year’s festival season with two feet, and she made a big splash. Her back-to-back Coachella performances featured elaborate choreography, glittery costumes and a few special guests including Lizzo and Tierra Whack. Monae is a superstar performer and we can only imagine what she will pull off for her friend Pharrell.
The soulful sounds of SZA are bold and eclectic, making her a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. The genre-defying artist released her debut album Ctrl in 2017 and since then was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2018 Grammy Awards and has collaborated with the likes of Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar. SZA combines rock, rap, and hip-hop to create her undeniably one-of-a-kind sound that is captivating, especially during her live shows.