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Excitement for SITW '22 builds among Hampton Roads locals, despite departure from Oceanfront

Something in the Water 2022 falls on Juneteenth weekend along Independence Avenue in Washington, D.C.

VIRGINIA, USA — The Something in the Water music festival makes a comeback, starting Friday afternoon. It's back in person after the inaugural festival in Virginia Beach three years ago.

However, the event won't be at the Oceanfront this go around.

"I went to the first one [in 2019], it was incredible. I'm ready for this one. I don't care where it is. It doesn't matter if he had it on the moon, I'm there," said Willie Williams II of Suffolk.

Williams II expressed his excitement to travel to Washington D.C.

"I can't wait, I can't wait," he said.

Artists Justin Timberlake, Usher, Pusha T and Gracie Abrams are among a long list of performers taking the stage.

Virginia Beach native and Grammy-award-winning artist Pharrell Williams decided to move his Something in the Water festival to the nation's capital this year.

Following a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19, Williams chose to depart from the Oceanfront, after describing "toxic energy" among Virginia Beach city leadership.

He is also the cousin of Donovon Lynch, who was shot and killed by police near the beach on March of last year.

Ticketholders can expect three days worth of music, food and family-friendly activities lining a portion of Independence Avenue SW.

"That's the best bet, instead of trying to find parking wherever you are, take the Metro," said Williams II.

Among the vendors who will be there is Ericka Crowder of the Norfolk breakfast and brunch spot, Cutta's Kitchen.

"I'm here to represent Virginia, the 757," she told us while on the road up to D.C. on Thursday afternoon.

Crowder initially signed up to sell food at the festival before the pandemic. She said this particular opportunity has been a long time coming.

"We've done a few other big festivals out of state, but this is the closest one to home," said Crowder. "We really wanted it to be in Virginia Beach, but we'll take D.C."

She mentioned her team is prepared to welcome large crowds, with her signature fare like loaded fries, fruity french toast and strawberry basil lemonade.

"Getting my food out there to people, enjoying the music, just having a good idea and seeing what he has to offer," said Crowder.

Hours before the kickoff of this year's festival, social media flooded with people who are trying to sell their tickets at the last minute.

"A lot of people can't get hotels, they didn't get them in the beginning. Now, they're trying to get them and the prices are outrageous," said Willie Williams.

Three-day general admission passes cost $399.50, plus fees a piece.

Those — along with shuttle bus tickets — are still available.

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