VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) — Grammy-award winner and Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams has big ideas for Hampton Roads, and on Tuesday night, city council members showed their initial support for them.
The council gave its okay to move forward with the process that could bring a Williams' proposed festival, Something in the Water, to the area. There are more steps to take before it would become a reality.
A vote on whether the event actually should take place likely will come in January after city council members are presented with logistical plans.
Williams said the name reflects what the world knows about Virginia: "there's something special in the Hampton Roads water," creating some of the most impactful artists, scientists, athletes, and entrepreneurs.
The proposal highlighted a plan to hold this three-day event during College Beach Weekend. Williams said his goal is to make the multi-venue experience the East Coast's version of SXSW. Deputy City Manager Ron Williams says it’ll make locals join in too.
We believe that it gives everyone a reason to participate that weekend, whether they're residents, whether they're visitors, but especially the businesses. This will be a very sought-after ticket," said Williams.
The event is described as family-friendly with concerts, panel discussions, sports activities, food, and even virtual reality. Williams said he wants young people to feel inspired to possibly find a job out of college, or start a company.City Manager Dave Hansen says it'll have all kinds of entertainment.
"They're going to use a dispersed environment where there's a comedian on this stage working and down here there's some music going on here, and over here there's a professional engaged in conversation.People come to be exposed to a new cultural transformation of what's trending in the world today," said Hansen.
"There are so many different industries that he has connections to and he can bring so many different people to the table to really put Virginia Beach on the map as a really awesome festival," said city councilwoman Shannon Kane, who met with Williams the last time he was in Hampton Roads.
In a statement, Williams said, "I've learned that no matter how much you love your city or your state, no matter how connected you think you might be, sometimes you have to step outside to see its true potential."
The proposal from the city manager's presentation shows the hub of the event would be at the city's ViBe creative area. If approved, the event would cover a lot of ground from the waterfront to the convention center that can hold a crowd of 16,500.
► Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13News Now App.