Pharrell Williams launched Something In The Water festival in his hometown of Virginia Beach, VA. The super producer brought the festival, with massive headliners, in 2019 before the pandemic hit but unfortunately, it will no longer be making its return. Pharrell penned a letter to city manager Patrick Duhaney explaining that the death of his cousin, 25-year-old Donovon Lynch, at the hands of the police was met with little concern from the city leaders.
David Livingston/Getty Images
“When we did the festival, it was to ease racial tension, to unify the region, bring about economic development opportunities and broaden the horizons of local businesses,” he wrote. “We’ve achieved those things! 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.”
He continued to explain that the city’s “toxic energy” has bled through the city’s infrastructure. “The toxic energy that changed the narrative several times around the homicide of my cousin, Donovan 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.”
Ultimately, Pharrell made it clear — he provided proposed solutions to issues of human rights facing the citizens of Virginia Beach that the city neglected to acknowledge.
Check the full letter below via WAVY.com.