The final day of Pharrell’s Something in the Water 2023 festival in Virginia Beach was canceled on Sunday (April 30) due to severe weather. “We are disappointed to share that under the advisement of the city of Virginia Beach and the local authorities we have to cancel day three of SOMETHING IN THE WATER due to significant impacts to the festival site caused by severe weather,” read a statement from festival organizers around 6 p.m. about the forecasted storms approaching the area, as well as a tornado warning and damage from earlier weather.
“We did not make this decision easily but everyone’s safety is our top priority. We will be refunding 33% of the base price from admission passes,” they added, with refunds slated to be automatically processed beginning Monday (April 1).
The cancelation resulted in the scotching of scheduled sets by Grace Jones, the Clipse, Wu-Tang Clan, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Lil Uzi Vert, 100 Gecs, Aminé, Flo Milli and Lil Durk.
“No one wants to make this call, but we cannot predict nor negotiate with the weather tonight. It is our responsibility to ensure public safety above all else,” City Manager Patrick Duhaney said, according to the Virginian-Pilot. “The City thanks the Something in the Water team, our public safety teams and City staff for their hard work this weekend under fluctuating weather conditions, and we appreciate everyone’s understanding of this difficult decision.”
Founder Pharrell Williams posted a heartfelt note to fellow Virginians and attendees, writing, “We are the best. These past few days @sitw have been the best. Even during this Tornado Watch and Lightning Storm right now as I type, we are the best. Thank you for giving the folks that travel here that energy and that LOVE that only we can give. Thank you to our partners, the vendors, production, policemen, firemen, the city council, the mayor and all who volunteered. The spirit here was felt everywhere!”
Williams promised that 2024’s SITW dates will be shifted in an attempt to avoid inclement spring weather, as well as teasing “more acts, more merch, more food… just more!” next year. WAVY reported that the first two days of this year’s event were also impacted by weather, with some acts slated for Friday bumped to Saturday and Sunday and Saturday’s start time pushed back after weather caused issues on site the night before.
Friday’s lineup featured performances by Babyface Ray, Arcade Fire, Maren Morris, Skrillex Kehlani, Mumford & Sons and Kid Cudi, while day 2 saw sets from the Kid Laroi, Wet Leg, the Jonas Brothers, Lil Yachty, Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Wayne and Pharrell’s Phriends, which included guests A$AP Rocky, De La Soul, M.I.A., Diddy, Chris Brown Latto and more.
The first day of 2019’s inaugural edition of SITW in Williams’ hometown was canceled due to weather, throwing a wrench into planned sets from Dave Matthews Band, Migos, Pharrell & Friends, Diplo and more. The 2022 edition was moved to Washington, D.C. after Williams got involved in a dispute with city officials over what he called a “toxic” environment following the fatal police shooting of his cousin, Donovon Lynch.
See the announcements below.