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Atlantic Avenue corridor preps for Something in the Water's expanded festival footprint

Just over 40 days until the big weekend at the end of April.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Businesses both old and new in Virginia Beach’s Oceanfront district are readying for the expanded foot traffic and expanded footprint of the upcoming Something in the Water music festival.

“This [Hampton Roads] is somewhere special where artists come out of, and we need to celebrate that,” Doddie Braza said.

Braza is one of the stakeholders behind a newly opened record store “Thanks For Listening” near the Oceanfront’s King Neptune statue. 

The store has only been open for about a month and a half and Braza said he’s excited for the bigger festival area that should draw more festival goers into more parts of the Oceanfront district compared to 2019.

“There is going to be more activations around Virginia Beach versus that one concentrated area [2019]. That’s going to be a great look for reaching out, locally,” he said.

“There are other events and programming scheduled for the parks and elsewhere which they didn’t have last time, which should benefit more of the community and feel more included in the festival,” George Kotarides said, who is president of the Dough Boys restaurants in the city as well as a member of the Atlantic Avenue Association.

Kotarides said the lead-up before the festival in 2019 was filled with unknowns, given it was the festival’s inaugural year.

“People generally have apprehension about things they don’t know about,” he said.

But now, Kotarides said the element of “unknown” going in that year has been replaced by excitement as the festival proved to be a success, and improvements are only expected for the second go-around at the Oceanfront, 

Kotarides cited additions like an added stage and event spaces not directly inside the festival perimeter.

“[I] think it’s going to go off without a hitch,” he said.

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