The city declares ‘Something in the Water’ a successful event

The main stage was roughly three blocks walking distance from the festival's main gate (WYDaily/ Julia Marsigliano)
The main stage was roughly three blocks walking distance from the festival’s main gate (Southside Daily/ Julia Marsigliano)

VIRGINIA BEACH — “Something in the Water,” the much-anticipated Pharrell Williams-backed festival happened this past weekend and here’s what the city had to say about it.

“The event went off smoothly due to the immense planning the city undertook, despite a compressed timeline,” Steve Cover, deputy city manager, told City Council during a briefing Tuesday.

The city had nothing but good things to say about how the weekend went.

Cover said overall crime was minimal and the coordination between the various city departments and help from Chesapeake, Norfolk, York County and so on helped make the event a success.

According to the city, there were seven people cited for peddling without a license.

The phrase “seamless flow” was used over and over again by Cover and Brian Solis, assistant to the city manager.

Having the support of the school buses, public works, various police departments, the city’s communication department and fire department worked collectively to make the event happen, Cover said.

EMS Mobile Unit treated 433 patients over the weekend, 365 were festival-related and they only had to send 15 of those people to the hospital, he said.

Some 21 tons of trash were picked up outside the festival footprint– the trash were collected by public works while the festival’s team covered the trash pick-up.

On Monday, April 29, there was a second coordinated trash pick-up by the city’s waste management division and Keep It Beachy Clean where they picked up 3.13 tons of trash with 217 volunteers, according to Keep It Beachy Clean.

“There was an unparalleled atmosphere of community harmony,” Solis said.

The positive findings that Solis found after the festival was over surrounded those ideas of harmony, goodwill and community.

“Pharrell Williams’ team provided cultural enrichment to this area that people don’t normally get,” he said.

The community and educational improvements provided in the form of endowments, grand openings, entrepreneurship opportunities and volunteer opportunities by the festival were greatly received, Solis said.

There were so many volunteer applications, in fact, that the city had three times as many volunteers apply for spots than they were able to provide, Solis said.

“There was not much to clean, not much trash at all,” he said.

City Manager Dave Hansen proposed $250,000 in the budget for next year’s Something in the Water and the city is ready to start working on logistics and planning for the next festival.

Williams’ team summed up the weekend with this tweet:

To view our ‘Something in the Water’ coverage, click here.

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