NEW YORK (WAVY) — For the first time since Pharrell Williams announced he was pulling his Something in the Water music festival from Virginia Beach, citing the city energy as “toxic,” he met with multiple leaders from his hometown over lunch.
He attached a picture showing council members Aaron Rouse and Linwood Branch, as well as City Manager Patrick Duhaney and Deputy City Manager Taylor Adams sitting around a table with himself and manager Ron Laffitte.
Williams said nothing more about the meeting. However, city spokesperson Tiffany Russell said it took place in New York.
“They discussed the trajectory of our city as he is a partner of one of our major public /private partnerships,” Russell said. “Patrick said it was a very positive conversation.”
Williams, who was born and raised in Virginia Beach, is a partner in the largest public-private partnership ever undertaken by the city: the redevelopment of the former Dome site.
The estimated $350 million project dubbed “Atlantic Park” will be anchored by a Wave Garden surf park and a nearly 6,000-person indoor-outdoor entertainment venue. It will also feature retail, restaurants, office space and residential units.
The project, approved before the COVID-19 pandemic, has faced many delays and cost increases. Rouse and Branch are the current City Council liaisons to the project.
However Twitter users were quick to bring up another Williams backed venture: the Something in the Water festival.
However, sources close to Williams say he has made no promises to keep the festival in the nation’s capital. Last fall Williams said he would not be leaving the region.