When I first heard the legendary Pharrell Williams was pitching a festival idea to the city of Virginia Beach, my ears perked up. You see, while Virginia has its perks, a common big complaint is the lack of things to do. Pharrell decided to conquer one of the most controversial weekends of the year to pull this off… Beach weekend. Beach weekend is always the last weekend in April and has become an unofficial tradition of college students packing the beach the week before finals. The controversy comes from the past incidents of violence and vandalism, sparking tense debates around the area. Pharrell emphasized the need for structure and activities to keep people occupied and he was spot on.
To say that this festival was amazing is an understatement. This festival drew in large crowds and for the first time in years, there was no violence. I didn’t really know what to expect, especially because it was the first year, but I trusted Pharrell and his vision and it was better than anything I could of imagined. For us locals this is huge and something to be celebrated, especially with over 40k people. This festival brought all kinds of people together no matter their ethnic background, beliefs or politics. From the epic line up of performances, surprise guests, food, art, cultural events and discussions, Trap Karaoke, dance competitions, the custom Adidas basketball court on the beach and so much more… there was literally something for everyone.
The festival began with a rough start on Friday, with rain ruining and eventually cancelling the first day. While he didn’t have to, Pharrell refunded everyone for that and more than made up for it over the next two days. The energy that was created has been strong and evident by everyone who was in attendance. Take a look at some of the footage from this epic event. I will definitely be present for SITW 2020!