VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Something in the Water is expected to be bigger and better than last year.
Virginia Beach city leaders are planning for more than 60,000 festival-goers to visit the resort city in April. Tickets are still available for this year’s concerts.
“I’ve been living here for over 50 years and I’ve seen some ups and downs, but this is a real positive and what Pharrell is trying to bring to the beach is just monumental,” explained Resort Beach Civic League President Nancy Parker.
City leaders said they started planning immediately after the 2019 SITW. The goal this year is to add new community engagement opportunities and expand parking for festival-goers.
Last year, people parked at the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater. City officials want to add about 12,000 spaces at the Princess Anne Commons area and NAS Oceania. Leaders also plan to have multiple designated ride-share lots.
Parker said, “Resort residents are used to having people coming and going. We are excited to be a part of the welcoming group. We want these people come and have an enjoyable and peaceful time here.”
Parker added festival officials are doing a great job relaying details to locals.
“Full information about what is going on and they have done a marvelous job of trying to make sure everyone has the same information,” Parker said.
Business owners feel the same way. Michael Mauch with Harvest is expecting a busy week, saying it could potentially kick-off his summer.
Mauch explained, “We will definitely have to hire people but unemployment is at an all-time record low so it’s very difficult. Everyone down here wants to hire and staff up for that weekend.
City leaders said for the next 30 to 75 days, they plan to work out permit applications, refine security and transportation plans to make sure this event is the best one yet.
“I’m hoping the excitement and energy that was a little bit of nervous energy last year is now just excitement and positivity,” Mauch explained
In March, city council members plan to meet with school board leaders to discuss using school buses to transport festival-goers to the Oceanfront.