Ballou High School’s famous marching band played Pharrell Williams’ hit song “Happy,” and then the star walked through the door.
Pharrell and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Tuesday that the Something in the Water festival will take place on Independence Avenue on the National Mall this weekend, June 17-19.
Bowser promised “three days of excitement” when the festivals return to the District.
The festival’s eclectic lineup includes Pharrell, Chloe X Halle, Calvin Harris, Dave Matthews Band, Lil Baby, Lil Uzi Vert, Run the Jewels, TI and Usher. Go-gos Backyard Band, Rare Essence and Sound of the City will also perform.
There will also be “some people we can’t announce,” organizers said.
The mayor told reporters that the District competed with other cities to host the big event, which officials hope will bring business and tourism to the city as part of its pandemic recovery plan.
“SOMETHING IN THE WATER is a black (LOVE) solution to a systemic problem, and this year we’re taking our celebration to a higher platform: the nation’s capital over the weekend of June 19. We want to show the world that there is SOMETHING IN THE WATER throughout the DMV,” Pharrell said in a statement about plans for the festival.
“If you’re celebrating music, if you’re celebrating black excellence, if you’re bringing attention to people who have dedicated their lives to breaking down barriers and improving our communities, then there’s no better place to do it than in Washington, DC,” he said. Bowser in the statement.
Something on the Water previously took place in Virginia Beach, but Pharrell said last fall that he was reluctant to hold it there again, citing a “toxic energy” that had run the city for “far too long.”
Williams’ 25-year-old cousin, Donovon Lynch, was shot to death by a Virginia Beach officer in March 2021. The city said he had pointed a gun at the officer who shot him.
All Ballou students will get free tickets to the three-day event.
Three-day passes to the festival will go on sale on Saturday, April 30. Previous Something in the Water attendees will be able to purchase passes two days in advance, beginning Thursday, April 28. Virginia residents will be able to get tickets a day early, beginning Friday, April 29.
Three stages will be set up on Independence Avenue and “adjacent streets,” according to the festival’s plans statement.