Something in the Water’s Memorable Waves

The Evolution of Virginia Beach

May 1, 2019

The `Something in the Water` festival happened without me. 

I’m not a fan of long lines, big crowds and traffic jams.   A big part of me wishes I had been there.  By all accounts it was an epic event just as I suspected it would be.  I predict future SITW events will morph into an east coast version of the South by Southwest festival down in Austin.


Last weekend’s concert event was a turning point in the history of our resort city.  Back in ’89 I was a sailor on active duty when an aggressive police department and racial unrest across the country contributed to chaos on the Oceanfront during Greekfest. 


Much has changed and evolved since then thanks to efforts by Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Ceruvera and former police Lieutenant Kenny Miller.  A few years back I had the pleasure of interviewing both during our community affairs segment.  They struck me as police officers who were proactive in dispelling distrust of the Virginia Beach police force while striving to maintain peace and order for all.  I also applaud Virginia Beach City Councilmen Aaron Rouse and the entire city council who were onboard with Pharrell’s vision from the beginning.


So where do we go from here?  Today it was announced that the Virginia Beach City Manager has included another $250K in the 2020 budget for next year’s `Something in the Water’ festival which signals to me that the event was a huge revenue generator for the city and our region as a whole.  Virginia Beach should now move forward on expanding more opportunities for minority-owned business along Atlantic Avenue – a disparity brought to light by NFL Hall of Famer and local businessman Bruce Smith.  And most importantly, our region needs to come together and extend light rail down to the Oceanfront.  Pharrell William’s `Something in the Water` festival is standing on the verge of becoming a must go to event similar to Coachella, the Essence Music Festival and the Hot 97 Summer Jam.  And it’s all because of the vision of lil `Skateboard P. `

Check out Pharrell's thoughts on his incredibly successful festival.