Pharrell Williams’ “Something in the Water” festival is back for 2022. Concert organizers announced Tuesday the three-day festival’s lineup, which will include several surprise performances, and said it will take place in Washington, D.C.
This year, the festival will be held on Independence Avenue in the nation’s capital on Juneteenth weekend — Friday, June 17 to Sunday, June 19. It will feature artists like Chloe x Halle, Ashe, Calvin Harris, Bia, Lil Uzi Vert, Pusha T, Teyana Taylor, Jon Batiste and Tyler, the Creator.
This will be the festival’s first year in D.C. It was originally held in Virginia Beach, Virginia, William’s hometown, but was moved after Williams’ public falling out with the city’s leadership.
In an October 2021 letter addressed to Virginia Beach City Manager Patrick Duhaney, Williams expressed disappointment over how the city handled the death of his cousin, Donovan Lynch, at the hands of police. Lynch was 25 years old when he was killed in an altercation with police in March 2021. CBS affiliate WTKR reported that while police said Lynch was “brandishing a handgun,” his family maintains that the police officer who shot him was improperly trained, which lead to Lynch’s death.
Williams wrote to Duhaney that Something in the Water was intended to bring the city economic prospects, ease racial tension and unify the region, but said he was tired of how the city’s leadership handled Lynch’s case, calling it a “toxic energy.”
“I sang about a room with a roof, but I am tired of kindly and politely being shown the door,” Williams wrote. “Until the gate-keepers 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 any problems with the city, but I realize the city hasn’t valued my proposed solutions, either.”
Now, the festival will make its debut in another East Coast hub. Tickets go on sale Saturday, April 30, at 10 a.m. EST.