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Virginia Beach City Council votes to sponsor 'Something in the Water' festival

The council unanimously decided to allocate $250,000 from a tourism fund to sponsor the festival.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Music superstar and Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams created waves after announcing the lineup for his "Something in the Water" festival.

The three-day event is expected to flood the beach with stars and fans.

On Tuesday night, Virginia Beach City Council showed their support for the festival by unanimously voting to allocate $250,000 from a tourism fund to sponsor the event.

"We have such other great festivals where we contribute to through our tip fund - the Patriotic Festival, the Shamrock, the American Music Festival - so this is just another festival we will contribute to." said Councilman Aaron Rouse

While city leaders are ready to get behind the festival some community members are not.

"If he wants to do a philanthropic gesture for the city of Virginia Beach, I would think he can fund his own philanthropy," said one woman.

"I really would like to remind you that it's not the function of this body to provide entertainment for people or to throw them parties. There are better uses for this money," commented a man at the meeting.

However, some came to support council's unanimous decision to sponsor the festival.

"Many have stated that our community has no market for music festivals or concerts, so please vote yes and be that lighthouse," said another man who attended the meeting.

"It's going to redirect the energy in a great, positive direction," said Councilman David Nygaard. "It's going to be a great launch to our summer season and it's going to be almost like a super bowl party for our city."

Rouse, one of the city liaisons for the festival thinks the city's investment will pay off.

If you look at the return the city's going to get, this is a smart investment for Virginia Beach going forward," said Rouse.

For those who feel the city is investing too much into the festival, Pharrell's team has put $15 million into the event so far.

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