So this is what went down at Virginia beach this past weekend.
Something in the water festival was marked in my calendar the second it was announced. How could I not attend? The festival sounded like a dream. Chris Brown, Pharrell, Usher, SZA, Jhene Aiko and others. It was just too good to be true. A festival on the shore of VA beach is a big deal!
The weekend started off on a troublesome and drenching foot as strong winds and dark clouds rushed in before people could even take cover. The storm left attendees running for shelter and waiting for updates concerning if the show was still a go or not. Around 6:30 pm the festival app sent out the notification declaring that they were left with no choice but to cancel. This crushed many hearts but seeing that Pharrell remained positive the eventful day was easily a blur and folks quickly moved on.
It was Saturday, April 27th and the day was bright, birds were chirping, and there was an overwhelming sense of positivity in the air. It was 12 pm and doors opened and everyone was ecstatic to pass the gates they waited all day yesterday to pass. Thousands of people from all over the world met at Virginia Beach for an incredible day.
The weather was warm and the sky was blue so everyone knew it was going to be a good day. Walking in, you can see the beach strip packed on the left end and the right as attractions flood the main beach. Surrounding the beach there were food and local business vendors. Our personal favorite attractions was the dance team battle and the Adidas basketball court. Fun fact, people actually thought the Adidas basketball court was just a rumor.
After some asking around, we were told this is the most exciting Virginia Beach has ever recieved. On that Saturday, acts such as Asap Ferg, Travis Scott, and more set the energy leading up to the days finale. The night became intense as everyone eagerly awaited the performance from the show’s originator and headliner VA native Pharrell Williams. The hero brought out Diddy, Missy Elliot, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, and above all else Jay-Z. Fans nearly fainted as Pharrell performed “Frontin'” and the Brooklyn, NY king came out. This was a legendary moment being that Virginia never had anything like this. Pharrell also revealed “Frontin'” was made in Virginia Beach. That explains its iconic breezy and delicate sound. Pharrell really brought hip-hop’s biggest stars to the VA. Beyoncé was even kicking it backstage too watching all the fun.
Another special highlight was Missy Elliot hopping on the mic after her killer performance. Nearly out of breath she said, “Y’all make sure y’all give it up for Pharrell because it took a lot of work and even though yesterday it rained outside he did whatever he had to do to make sure that we are still here today. He made sure he didn’t disappoint Virginia.”
It was beautiful to see everyone hit that stage being that they are a few of the main people that really shaped hip-hop. It wasn’t just a VA celebration, it was a celebration of these legends. They are still alive and still being great after all these years. We felt the love in the air radiate from the stage to the crowd of 50,000+ people.
On Sunday, April 28th, it was the final day of the festival. We were all still in a shock about everything that went down the previous night. Jhene Aiko set the positive vibes and the other great part about that day was Teddy Riley’s set. He performed hits he’s written and brought out Lil Duval, SWV, and Blackstreet members. We’ve learned a lot from his set too. He excited us when he mentioned Michael Jackson came to Virginia to make “Remember the Time” with him. We didn’t know Virginia held so much vital music history. After that, Charlie Wilson hit the mainstage and set the electric soulful vibes for Chris Brown. Aside from Pharrell’s set, another proud Virginia set was Chris Brown’s. The Tappahannock, Virginia native brought out Virginia’s Trey Songz and the crowd went insane.
On the drive, back home I had time to reflect on the experience in its entirety. Out of all the festivals we’ve covered this is one where the bill was stacked with legends. There was a difficult Friday for fans due to storms and then there was the long stretch of a walk from mainstage to the adidas court. However, the overall laid-back atmosphere and vacation-like location made this an event to remember. All eyes are on Virginia and they need to stay there. We finally understand what exactly is in Virginia’s water. Expect more of this festival. Also, expect more Virginia artists making their way through music charts. VA artists are set to change hip-hop in future years.
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