WASHINGTON — Rapper Pharrell Williams made an appearance at a D.C. high school Tuesday, alongside Mayor Muriel Bowser, to help highlight summer events in the District, including his own "Something in the Water" music festival.
The festival, formerly held in Virginia Beach where Williams grew up, will be on the National Mall over Juneteenth weekend, June 17-19. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. and three-day general admission tickets start at $299.50.
Williams said the weekend chosen is no coincidence but instead is meant to highlight the efforts that led to Virginia recognizing Juneteenth as a paid holiday in 2020 and "recognize that something that has been flowing through the country’s soil for over 400 years."
According to reporting from the Associated Press, Williams is moving the festival out of Virginia Beach due to how the city handled the investigation into the shooting death of his cousin by a police officer.
"In life we hit challenges and when we hit challenges you can either stop and stay stagnant or you rise above it and go onwards and upwards," Pharrell said. "That's what we chose to do ... and we chose to take our festival to the highest grounds, in my opinion, in this entire nation: our National Mall."
Williams received the loudest applause when he said everyone in the room would be given festival tickets.
"D.C. has always been a deep inspiration to me as a person and a musician," he wrote in a statement. "It is the land where Go-Go Music was birthed which has provided so much for our people."
The festival will have multiple stages on Independence Avenue and side streets and will include performances by Calvin Harris, Pusha T, Chloe x Halle, Dave Matthews Band, Ashanti & Ja Rule, Lil Baby and more.
Williams' appearance was part of a larger initiative with Bowser promoting her #DCisOpen campaign welcoming tourists back to the city following the pandemic.
"We are really excited to get D.C. back open... but we also want all of our musicians to have the opportunity to come back and perform at all of our venues," Bowser said.
Virginia residents will have early access to buying passes in person, starting Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach box office. Fans who have purchased tickets in the past have early access starting Wednesday at 10 a.m. through Thursday at 10 p.m.
There is a four (4) ticket limit.
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