Pharerell Williams shuts down festival after cousin shot by police

Written by on October 10, 2021

Pharrell Williams has reportedly decided not to bring the Something In The Water festival back to Virginia Beach in 2022. After his cousin was killed in an officer-involved shooting last March, the Neptunes producer/rapper doesn’t feel like his hometown is the right place for it. In a letter to the Virginia Beach City Manager Patrick Duhaney on Tuesday (October 5), Pharrell outlined his reasons for the cancelation, explaining the festival helped ease racial tensions, promoted economic growth for the city and unified the area — but he feels he’s not getting anything in return.

“I love my city, but for far too long it has been run by — and with toxic energy,” he wrote. “The toxic energy that changed the narrative several times around the homicide of my cousin, [Donovon] Lynch, a citizen of Virginia, is the same toxic energy that changed the narrative around the mass murder and senseless loss of life at Building Number 2.”

He added, “I wish the same energy I’ve felt from Virginia Beach leadership upon losing the festival would have been similarly channeled following the loss of my relative’s life.”

Eustice, Kyle. “Pharrell Williams Axes His Star-Studded Festival Following Cousin’s Death by Police.” HipHopDX, HipHopDX, 6 Oct. 2021,




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