You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Something in the Water lineup: Wu-Tang, Lil Wayne, Mumford & Sons and more

Virginian  Pilot logo Virginian Pilot 3/15/2023 Colin Warren-Hicks, The Virginian-Pilot

Gen Zers coated in body paint and capped in cowboy hats are likely to be twirling glowsticks shoulder-to-shoulder with baby boomers squeezed into bellbottoms at the Oceanfront at the end of April.

The entertainment lineup for Something in the Water — Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams’ music festival — is a multigenerational and cross-genre mix of artists and styles.

The much-anticipated list was released Wednesday and included comedy, such as Chesapeake native and Saturday Night Live alum Jay Pharoah, and headliners in rap, country and folk music — such as Lil Wayne, Mumford & Sons, Machine Gun Kelly, Wu-Tang Clan and 48 others. The list included the mysterious mention of “Pharrell’s Phriends.” In the inaugural 2019 festival, the “Pharrell and Friends” segment became an electrifying parade of some of the biggest names in music, including Jay-Z and Diddy.

The festival also has the backing of Walmart as the presenting sponsor, and YouTube will live stream the weekend’s events.

“Strengthening local communities is core to Walmart’s DNA,” said Cedric Clark, executive vice president, store operations for Walmart U.S. in a statement. “By investing in our associates and in the communities we serve, we help build a foundation where people can live their full potential every day. We’re excited to team up with Something in the Water.”

The festival will include acts that have been around for more than 50 years and artists who are new and rising on the charts.

While Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Nile Rogers and Chic, one of the disco era’s greatest bands, are known for 1970s hits like “Le Freak” and “I Want Your Love,” Lil Uzi Vert rose to fame in 2016 as a featured artist on Migos No. 1 hit “Bad And Boujee.”

While the original nine members of Wu-Tang embarked on their quest to take over the hip-hop industry in the early 1990s with their debut album, “Enter the 36 Chambers,” rapper Machine Gun Kelly has made more recent waves. In 2018, Kelly lyrically challenged Eminem for the crown of the best white rapper with his song “Rap Devil.”

And the festival is far from just hip-hop.

Maren Morris, a country and pop singer, has found success with hits such as “The Middle,” in 2018 and “The Bones” in 2019 — both featuring Zedd and Grey.

SWV — Sisters with Voices — formed as a gospel group but ended up dominating 1990s R&B charts with hits such as “Weak” and “Right Here.” Two decades later, Skrillex dominated the electronic dance music scene.

Fans started buying tickets in November not knowing if the festival would have 2019′s star power.

Wednesday, ticket holders quickly jumped online, some venting frustration at the list, and others celebrating. Some people praised the eclectic mix while others booed and called the tickets overpriced.

One Instagram user wrote, “r we really being ungrateful or did they just make us wait until 1 month before the festival to release this mid lineup. Seriously no festival has ever made their fans wait this long for a lineup and it be this underwhelming”

One post on Twitter gushed: “Great lineup. Solid mix of (old) and new. The phriends is gonna be the icing on the cake!! I’m thinking Missy, Timbo, CBreezy, Trey Songz, Travis, SZA.”

This year’s festival, April 28-30 at the Oceanfront, is expected to be even bigger than in 2019 when more than 25,000 packed the beach for the festival’s one stage.

This year’s festival will have two large stages on 3rd and 10th streets and vendors, entertainment and community events set up in parks at 17th, 24th and 31st streets.

In 2020, Williams revealed Something In The Water was created in response to James Cervera, then Virginia Beach’s chief of police, asking him for help.

Williams said in a masterclass video for LeBron James’ SpringHill media company that Cervera came to him in 2018 and explained the problems surrounding the last weekend in April. Known as College Beach Weekend, thousands of college students — many of whom were Black — flocked to Virginia Beach.

Many residents viewed the weekend as troublesome, even though the city’s crime statistics proved otherwise. Something in the Water was created to be fun and positive and was considered a resounding success.

The festival was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-19. In 2022, Williams moved SITW to Washington.

This year’s festival, like the others, will be more than just music. Black Ambition, Williams’ nonprofit focused on closing the wealth gap by investing in Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs, will host curated events and funding opportunities; a Sunday pop-up church service is scheduled as well as free wellness and health events.

Festival tickets are still available.

A list of those schedule to appear:

  • 100 Gecs
  • Aminé
  • Ayra Starr
  • Babyface Ray
  • Black Sherif
  • Clipse
  • Coi Leray
  • d4vd
  • Doechii
  • Feid
  • FLO
  • Flo Milli
  • gigi
  • Grace Jones
  • Jay Pharoah
  • Jazmine Sullivan
  • Jessie Murph
  • Kamasi Washington
  • KayCyy
  • Kehlani
  • Kenny Beats
  • Kid Cudi
  • Kitty Ca$h
  • Latto
  • Lil Durk
  • Lil Uzi Vert
  • Lil Yachty
  • Maren Morris
  • Masego
  • Nile Rodgers & CHIC
  • NLE Choppa
  • Polo G
  • Remi Wolf, Riovaz
  • Saucy Santana
  • Skrillex
  • Summer Walker
  • SWV
  • The Kid LAROI
  • UMI
  • Wale
  • Weston Estate
  • Wet Leg
  • yvngxchris
  • Pharrell’s Phriends

Colin Warren-Hicks, 919-818-8139,

©2023 The Virginian-Pilot. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


More From Virginian Pilot

Virginian  Pilot
Virginian Pilot
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon