Yes, it’s true! There are major festivals nearly every weekend of the year. Just last weekend, Hot 97’s Summer Jam and Governors Ball took place in the tri-state area. One week earlier, The Roots hosted their annual picnic with support from Mary J. Blige, Griselda and many others. Not to be forgotten, Day N’ Vegas and Made In America are set to take place on Labor Day Weekend. With that said, some festivals stand out.
Washington, D.C. is not new to the festival scene. Each year, Broccoli City and All Things Go put on incredible shows and push the culture of the region forward effortlessly. Oftentimes, those two festivals are held at Merriweather Post Pavillion, RFK Stadium Grounds, etc. It’s not often that the city of Washington, D.C. will grant access to the downtown area near the Washington Monument or any of the landmarks that tourists frequent. In fact, it hasn’t happened since Drake headlined the Landmark Festival back in 2015. Fortunately, Pharrell and company have changed all of that.
In partnership with the city of Washington, D.C., Amazon Prime Video, Twitch, NAACP and so many other organizations, Pharrell and company have not only brought Something In The Water to the nation’s capital, but they’ve also put it in a coveted downtown spot. With that location, there are many ups and downs for organizers to endure along the way. From an attendee’s perspective, here’s what day one felt like on Independence Avenue.
Glass Half Full
#SITWfest DAY 1 LETS GOOO ?? pic.twitter.com/jx9FE33Qcw
— SOMETHING IN THE WATER (@sitw) June 17, 2022
Winner: Safety, Accessibility & Support
In my travels, I have had the privilege to cover a number of different festivals, but I have never seen an event prioritize the safety and support of its non-fully able-bodied folks quite like Something In The Water. There were a number of prominently featured spaces for non-fully able-bodied folks to take a rest, get a good view of the stage or re-hydrate. For those who are fully able-bodied, there were also a number of free water stations, medical professionals on standby and first-aid stations. Yes, these sound like all basic amenities, but they’re not always around at the festivals in the way that they were prominently featured at Something In The Water.
Thank you Usher for closing out our first night with an unforgettable performance. Get some rest everyone and we will see you tomorrow! #SITWfest pic.twitter.com/xdfWp7clZq
— SOMETHING IN THE WATER (@sitw) June 18, 2022
Winner: Atlanta, the city of legends, rising artists and superstars
If it wasn’t already clear, Atlanta is doing it big and has been doing it big for some time now. Throughout the day, fans could catch a set from Atlanta native 6LACK or they could hear one of the DJs blasting “Swag Surfin'” before another artist’s set. Not to mention, the night’s headliners, T.I. and Usher, are both legends in the city. Oh yeah, Lil’ Baby also just happened to put on one of the night’s best sets. Simply put, Atlanta is putting itself in the lead on day one of the festival.
#RoddyRicch pays tribute to fallen rappers Lil Keed, Juice Wrld, Nipsey Hussle, Drakeo + more during his performance of Die Young ?? #SITWFest @sitw pic.twitter.com/gUWtDTzt18
— UPROXX Music (@uproxxmusic) June 18, 2022
Winner: Roddy Ricch is moving forward with his head held high
As mentioned previously, Hot 97’s Summer Jam and Governors Ball were both held in the tri-state area last weekend. It just so happens that Roddy Ricch was booked to take the stage at both events, but there was a major setback along the way. While making his way to Governors Ball, a vehicle carrying the California native was stopped and searched. Authorities at the event found a large capacity firearm and multiple people were taken into custody. Fortunately, the charges levied against Roddy Ricch and company were dropped, but it was definitely an ordeal that no one would want to deal with.
During his set at Something In The Water, Roddy Ricch addressed the matter by telling fans that he’s “enjoying” simply being there on stage with them. Moving forward, he indicated that he would try to enjoy simply being in the moment more often. He also suggested that he had some music waiting to be released later this summer. Not to be forgotten, he put on an incredible set that showcased his growing catalog.
Glass Half Empty
Remember to stay hydrated! Water stations will be provided throughout the festival grounds at #SITWfest
— SOMETHING IN THE WATER (@sitw) June 17, 2022
It’s easy to understand why festivals aren’t typically held on the east coast during the winter or early spring. It’s too damn cold outside! However, there are still a few obstacles to deal with when hosting festivals in the summer. Most notably, it’s too damn hot outside! Throughout much of the day, temperatures pushed into the high 80s and low 90s. As a result, it was important for everyone to down a bottle of water after every bottle of seltzer. It’s often easier said than done. Time after time, concertgoers were being transported by ambulances to the first-aid stations due after becoming dehydration. Making matters worse, the asphalt and large crowds only increase the temperature. It was just a lot to deal with. Fortunately, temperatures are expected to remain in the high 70s and low 80s on day two. Hopefully, it stays that way.
Something in the water being hours late is really killing the vibe.
— Red Reddington (@goldskinned__) June 18, 2022
Planning an event with thousands of attendees, high-profile guests and dozens of vendors in a traffic-heavy area is never easy. In fact, it’s almost expected that things won’t go as expected. Unfortunately, that’s just what happened on day one of Something of the Water. At each of the three stages, there were lengthy delays. At midday, attendees were informed that performances at the Sun, Moon and Earth stages would be pushed back about 30 minutes. However, that was seemingly not enough times as evening sets from Roddy Ricch, Usher and Lil’ Baby all started later than the delay predicted. To top it all off, some performers like Skepta and Lucky Daye were asked to perform more than 90 minutes after they were scheduled to do so.