VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — As Thursday marks exactly 50 days until the start of the 2023 Something in the Water music festival, Virginia Beach hotel leaders are soon expecting a spike in hotel bookings when the highly anticipated lineup is finally released.
“ was probably one of the best weekends the city ever had from occupancy and visitor traffic. This year will be just as big, but it’s taking a little longer to come around,” John Zirkle said.
Zirkle, the president of the Virginia Beach Hotel Association, said the current occupancy rates for hotels across the city are right now “softer” than what they were in 2019, for the first year of the festival. He added that many potential bookers are still waiting for the release of the lineup before making their lodging accommodations.
“The hotels closer to the event area are either sold out or close to it, as you get a little farther away toward the north end of away from the beach those hotels have more availability,” he said.
The lineup is the biggest remaining question about the festival since Pharrell Williams announced its return at the Mighty Dream conference in Norfolk last October.
While many still await the lineup’s release, it’s worth noting the lineups for the festivals in 2019 and 2022 (in Washington, D.C.) were released roughly 50 days ahead of the actual start of the festival.
Now, Zirkle said it’s still a gamble for festivalgoers to wait on the potential impact on hotel demand following the lineup release, which he believes will lead to current vacancies getting booked more quickly
“Two things could happen-- hotels aren’t filling up so they lower their prices, or demand stays high so prices stay high,” he said.
The festival is offering a separate shuttle service ($50 for three days) that offers festival goers transport from the Virginia Beach Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater.
“Hotels will be sold out, it’s just a matter of whether it’s three weeks, four weeks or two weeks before,” Zirkle says.