something in the water festival logo

Virginia Beach locals and tourists alike have been eagerly anticipating the Something in the Water Festival this April 26 – April 28, but what’s it all about? Here are some tips for making the most of this inaugural music festival.

What is the Something in the Water Festival?

At its core, the Something in the Water Festival is a three-day music festival uniting some of the country’s best music artists. But the overarching vision for organizers like Pharrell Williams and others is much larger than just a music festival. They would like it to be more similar to South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX, which combines a music and arts festival with opportunities for business growth and networking.

So even though fans will flock to see many of their favorite bands take the stage this year, in the future, the festival will offer much more. It has the potential to be both a hub and catalyst for Virginia Beach’s burgeoning tech and artistic communities. So we’ll soon be talking about SITW alongside SXSW.

festival map something in the water Virginia beach

Where is the Something in the Water Festival?

The festival takes place at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Most of the festivities will take place between 5th Street and 31st Street, with the biggest events at the 5th St. stage. The festival will provide shuttle transportation to different events, and there’s bike parking available as well.

But locals who don’t have tickets to the festival probably want to steer clear of the area. Traffic will rival July 4th levels, even with the shuttles and organized transportation! Biking might be a great option this weekend, too.

Pharrell Williams concert

Which artists will be playing at the Something in the Water Festival?

You can find a list of artists and the performance schedule here, but some highlights include organizer Pharrell Williams, Missy Elliott, Pusha T, Dave Matthews Band, and Teddy Riley, all of whom have strong ties to the Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads area.

Fans may also come to see other top artists including Diddy, Gwen Stefani, Janelle Monae, Diplo, Snoop Dogg, Usher, J Balvin, SZA, and Travis Scott.

Those who want a change of pace from the concerts can hear talks from speakers like Deepak Chopra and Geoffrey Canada. And Sunday morning festival-goers can attend a Pop-Up Church Service, which is sure to have an amazing choir and musical component.

Some of the events will be kid-friendly, but the overall event is geared for an older crowd. So we’d recommend leaving the kids home if possible. But if you plan on bringing a little one to the shows, these noise-canceling headphones are a great way to shield them from a lot of loud noise. Yes, they make them for adults, too!

wristband something in the water festival @oboycreative

Photo Credit: VB Basics, @oboycreative

Can you still get Something in the Water tickets?

The festival’s already sold 32,000 tickets, and both VIP and general admission wristbands are gone. But if you still want to go to the festival, there’s hope! You can still find Something in the Water tickets on sites like StubHub starting around $250 for general admission, going up to around $750-$1,000 for VIP. Chances are, closer to the date of the festival, there will still be plenty of available tickets from third-party vendors.

So, while you can still get tickets, you might have to pay a little more than the list price. But it’ll be worth it!

Where can I stay during the Something in the Water Festival?

If you’re hoping for an oceanfront hotel room at a fabulous price, you might be disappointed. Most hotel rooms, including those at properties managed by Coastal Hospitality, are already sold out. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t great other options available.

Many festival-goers are opting for rentals on Airbnb, which are perfect for groups of friends who want to stay together. All The Rooms also has comprehensive listings of which hotels and homes are still available that weekend, so you can find the perfect place to stay. The neighboring cities of Norfolk and Chesapeake might also have more availability and cheaper room rates that weekend.

You’ll have a bit of a drive. But really, you didn’t come to Something in the Water to sit around in your hotel room all day. You came for the music! So even though Virginia Beach offers some lovely accommodations, they’re definitely not the main event!

something in the water artwalk mural

Photo Credit: VB Basics, @oboycreative

What is the Something in the Water Art Walk?

Locals have loved seeing vibrant murals pop up throughout the city as part of the American Express-sponsored Something in the Water Art Walk. The walk features a mix of artists, including several locals, and has been curated by New Orleans artist “B-Mike” Odums. These murals bring a great vibe to the festival, and they’re also a great way for those who don’t want physically attend the festivities to enjoy in the weeks to come.

For another bonus, festival-goers showing their wristbands can visit the Virginia Beach Museum of Contemporary Art for free this weekend!

enjoy the shops and events at the Vibe

Enjoy the perfect cup of coffee at Three Ships in the ViBe Creative District

Where am I going to eat?

Actually, the better question might be, how can I choose between all these fabulous dining options!?!?!

The Virginia Beach oceanfront has lots of great local restaurants offering delicious food and drinks. Though plan ahead, since they’ll probably be busier than usual! There’s no shame in packing your own snacks and drinks ahead of time. You’ll be glad you did!

But if you have some free time and the lines aren’t too long, stop by May’s Parlor for some delicious breakfast pastries, enjoy some freshly roasted coffee at Three Ships Coffee. Later in the day, head over to Aloha Snacks for the perfect tuna poke bowl, and finish off the day with Esoteric‘s delicious duck tacos and braised short ribs in the ViBe Creative District.

And if you came with kids, here are some of our favorite family-friendly restaurants, including a list of places where kids eat free!

Get ready for an epic weekend!

This year’s festival should be on par with other great music festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, and SXSW. And this year is just the beginning. There’s no better place than the beach to enjoy great music. And with 32,000 of your closest friends, you’re sure to have a great time!

Be sure to check out our VB Basics Channel for some of the best activities, events, and culture from Virginia Beach. There’s plenty more to come!

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