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Pharrell's 'Something in the Water' music festival announces highly anticipated lineup

The 3-day star-studded lineup was released Wednesday and included acts such as Lil Wayne, Lil Yachty and Machine Gun Kelly. YouTube will be streaming it.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — After Pharrell Williams announced the return of his Something in the Water music festival to Virginia Beach in early November, the moment that ticket holders have been waiting for has arrived. 

The 3-day star-studded lineup was released Wednesday and includes acts such as Lil Wayne, Lil Yachty, Machine Gun Kelly, Wu-Tang Clan and Skrillex.

Other acts include hip-hop group Clipse and former "Saturday Night Live" comedian Jay Pharoah, who are both natives of Hampton Roads. "Pharrell's Phriends" are also listed on the lineup.

“The lineup is good. And also the friends! The friends, the friends, the friends! You know he’s going to bring somebody out,” said Chrysany Collier who will attend the event.

Collier won VIP tickets and a preview of the line-up in an early morning scavenger hunt hosted by Something in the Water. The festival's social media accounts posted the contest Wednesday, with the winner being whoever could find a hidden clue near the Oceanfront. Collier said she found the message near the King Neptune sculpture on 31st Street. 

The festival also announced that it has partnered with Walmart, which will be presenting this year's show. YouTube will also stream the festival all weekend. It can be watched on Pharrell’s YouTube channel.

The event will include free events for everyone, including non-ticket holders.

According to Live Nation, organizers expanded their partnership with the City of Virginia Beach. That includes a small business event featuring live music at Mount Trashmore on April 14, as well as wellness initiatives and efforts to highlight the area’s entertainment sector.

Virginia Beach Councilwoman Jennifer Rouse, who is on city liaisons for the festival, said organizers wanted to make sure more communities feel involved.

“The first year there was a lot of attention on the Oceanfront. People can expect as we get closer and closer to the event, look for opportunities to participate across the city,” said Rouse.

She said the goal is to collaborate for a community-centered event.

Live Nation representatives also announced two primary stages for this year’s festival. That’s one more than the event featured in 2019, when it last occurred in Virginia Beach.

Festival planners are also working with local music and entertainment organizers for three oceanfront parks on 17th Street, 24th Street and 31st Street. For the three days of the festival, each stage will be free to the public and incorporate local businesses and nonprofits.

The announcement comes after the festival dropped a cryptic teaser on social media Tuesday as festival-goers await the lineup for the music festival's highly-anticipated return to Virginia Beach.

The festival posted an Instagram Story of a short video clip showing a TV screen that came to life with the words, "First Contact: 3-15-23." 

Extraterrestrial-like music played in the background, leaving fans wondering if the festival would be space-themed or whether it hinted at who would perform. 

Then, a following post said, "Prepare for Arrival," with clips fading in and out of Pharrell, crowds from previous SITW festival and views of the Oceanfront.

Despite the wait, Ericka Crowder said she is looking forward to the event. She hasn’t missed since the first Something In the Water in 2019, and this will be her second year as a vendor for the event with her catering business, Cutta’s Kitchen.

“It’s worth the wait. I mean, I wish we didn’t have to wait so long, but I can understand why,” Crowder told 13News Now.

The date for the festival is set for April 28 to 30, 2023, and passes went on sale starting with those who live in Virginia Beach on November 5. 

In the months since, the festival has begun to provide other resources for attendees, like shuttle day passes and hotel packages.

The full lineup is available on Something in the Water's website.

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