The festival, which was previously held in Virginia Beach where Pharrell Williams grew up, will take place at the National Mall on the weekend of June 17, from June 17-19.
WASHINGTON — Mayor Muriel Bowser and musician Pharrell Williams have a graduation present up their sleeves for this year’s high schoolers. In a Twitter video on Friday, the rapper announced that all DC 2022 graduates will receive a free ticket to his “Something in the Water” music festival to be held at the National Mall on the weekend of June 17, June 17-19. June.
“Congratulations to this year’s DC high school graduates for all you’ve accomplished,” Williams said in a tweeted video. “You have all truly inspired us all with your resilience and your ability to learn during a pandemic. You deserve to be celebrated, and so we will.”
Williams asked all 2022 high school graduates to “talk to their principals” about how to get their free ticket.
“The school year is coming to an end and we want every DC graduate to know how proud we are of their accomplishments,” Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted. “That’s why all DC 2022 public school and charter school graduates will receive a free ticket to Pharrell’s Something in the Water Festival!”
Williams said the weekend chosen was no coincidence, but rather was meant to highlight the efforts that led Virginia to recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday in 2020 and “recognize that Something which has flowed over the soil of the country for more than 400 years.”
“DC has always been a deep inspiration to me as a person and a musician,” Williams wrote in a statement when the festival was announced. “It is the land where Go-Go Music was born that has given so much to our people.”
RELATED: Pharrell Williams Brings ‘Something in the Water’ Music Festival to DC for Juneteenth
Some DC residents have expressed concern about the accessibility of the festival, given that ticket prices started at $299 plus taxes and fees, which works out to around $350 for Tier 1 passes. five tiers, tickets can cost up to $549.50 including fees, depending on the SITW website.
“Black people in DC, especially DC natives, can’t afford $350 to go stand in a mall that our ancestors who were enslaved built,” said Nee Nee Taylor from Harriet’s Wildest Dreamsa black-led abolitionist group.
The festival was previously held in Virginia Beach where Williams grew up, and 2020 ticket prices were around $150. WUSA9 contacted event sponsor Events DC and festival organizers about the price difference, but never received a response. Ticket price discounts were offered to DC and Virginia residents who purchased on certain dates, and a loyalty discount was offered to past Something In The Water festival attendees.
RELATED: Something In The Water ticket price for DC concert is hundreds more than previous Virginia Beach shows
According to reports from The Associated Press, Williams wanted to move the festival out of Virginia Beach because of the city’s handling of the investigation into the shooting death of her cousin by a police officer.
“In life we face challenges and when we encounter challenges you can either stop and remain stagnant or rise above and move forward and up,” Williams said. “That’s what we chose to do…and we chose to take our festival to the heights, in my opinion, of this whole nation: our National Mall.”
The festival will have multiple stages on Independence Avenue and side streets and will include performances by over 60 musicians such as Calvin Harris, Pusha T, Chloe x Halle, Dave Matthews Band, Ashanti & Ja Rule, Lil Baby and the go-go from DC. bands, Rare Essence and the Backyard Band.
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