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Pharrell Williams’ Something In The Water Festival Aims To Unite Communities And Celebrate Diversity
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When asked what continues to inspire him to create the way that he does, the legendary multi-hyphenate Pharrell Williams told ESSENCE: “That which does not exist.”
On the weekend of Juneteenth, Williams brought his Something In The Water festival to Washington D.C.’s Independence Avenue. Throughout the event’s three days, it featured thought-provoking panel discussions and workshops, a community market, a pop-up church service, and performances from some of the world’s top talents. The festival was first held in the award-winning producer’s hometown of Virginia Beach in 2019, but since then, so much has changed. Due to the death of his 25-year-old cousin Donovan Lynch at the hands of a police officer, Williams moved Something In The Water to the nation’s capital, saying that the local municipal government of VA Beach has to change the way that they operate.
“Maybe, but they have a lot of work to do,” Williams responded to whether he would ever bring his festival back to Virginia. “They didn’t treat the loss of my cousin’s life with respect, you know? Until we start seeing them treat marginalized communities the same way they treat the well-to-do, then why should I do that? I think leadership needs to change, a lot of the decision makers, a lot of things need to change.”