Plan your trip to the Something in the Water festival

Virginia News

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Traffic is expected to be increased around the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Thursday, with one day to do until the much-hyped Something in the Water festival.

The festival kicksoff in erneast Friday, April 26, and runs through Sunday, April 28.’s Full Something in the Water Coverage

Crews were busy putting the finishing touches on the Oceanfront setup — which includes the concert stage, a basketball court constructed on the beach, a medical tent, food and drink options and merchandise booths.

10 On Your Side has a look at what you need to know ahead of the festival.


The main attraction for Something in the Water will be the concerts.

Festival organizers have amassed a star-studded lineup of bands, singers and performers who will take the Oceanfront stage. This includes Dave Matthews Band, Travis Scott, Pusha T, Diplo and Chris Brown.

A rundown of set times for all three days of the festival was revealed early Wednesday morning.

Pharrell and Friends will have even more big-names acts including Missy Elliott, Gwen Stefani, Snoop Dogg, P Diddy, Usher and Busta Rhymes.

The concerts kickoff at 2 p.m. Friday with Radiant Children and end with Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals Sunday night.

Aside from the concerts, festival-goes can check out a free Pop-Up Church service on Sunday — which has its own free shuttle service — and a series of conversations happening all weekend at the convention center.

The “More than the Music Conversations” will cover a wide range of topics from technology, meditation, faith and stereotypes. It also include an advance screening of a new CNN series, a live episode of Pharrell’s #OTHERtone show and a SPLASH! pitch competition.

The competition is a partnership between the festival and Old Dominion University. Grammy-winning producer and rapper Timbaland and Norfolk native and Hall of Fame football player Bruce Smith are among the judges for the contest.

While festival-goers are roaming from event to event — seriously, there is a lot to do at this festival –they can check out a series of murals painted by local artists. The murals are supposed to represent that there’s “something in the water” in Virginia Beach, where talent is born and grown.


Transportation has been a big topic of convseration surrounding the festival over the past few months. There are several options available for those who have passes for the event.

Festival organizers announced Wednesday night that park and ride shuttle passes sold out and encouraged visitors to use ride-sharing services or arrive early to park in public lots. 

Those who plan on taking an Uber or Lyft to the festival can expect to be dropped off at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, which is also the location of the box office. It’s the only designated drop-off point for ride sharing apps.

From there you can get on a trolley — which costs $2 a ride — will take festival-goers to the entrance. Riders can pay with exact change or by downloading the GoHRT app for mobile pay. 

City officials have said 3,000 parking spots are available at the Oceanfront, between street parking and garages. The city has created a page for the event that will have updates on road closures.

The Virginia Beach Amphitheater, off Dam Neck Road, is serving as the designated parking place for the festival. Parking there is free, and a shuttle will transport people to and from the Oceanfront.


Rooms at inns, hotels and motels along the Oceanfront were booked rapidly in the months leading up to the festival.

10 On Your Side found some room in Norfolk and Chesapeake, a near a festival shuttle site. If hotels in cities surrounding Virginia Beach have sold out, people may have to look farther away in localities like Newport News, Hampton, Smithfield and Williamsburg.

Virginia Beach has allowed residents to use their homes as short-term rental sites during the weekend. Earlier in the month, Pharrell announced a special partnership with Airbnb for the festival.

Airbnb has said it would provide on-the-ground training for residents who are hosting for the first time. The company expects hosts to make more than $600,000 combined across the festival weekend.

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