Pharrell's Something In The Water Festival Draws Criticism For Poor Safety Conditions

Washington, D.C. – Pharrell’s Something In The Water Festival took over Washington D.C. over the weekend, and while there were many standout moments on stage like the reuniting of Clipse or the debut live performance of “Cash In Cash Out,” a ton of attendees were left unhappy at the safety conditions and crammed layout of the festival.

“The difference between this festival and other festivals is that it’s unsafe,” Katerra Shackelford, a Tampa Bay native, told WTOP. “It’s so overcrowded, you can’t get through the crowds. People are pushing through the crowds because they’re mad that they can’t get through. It’s just very narrow passageways.

“You expect the event staff to be safe. You expect that if somebody calls out for help, the medics are going to come. As somebody who goes to festivals … you expect there to be safety protocols in place. And it was clear and obvious that there were none. The staff was untrained.”

She also explained that she witnessed multiple people passing out during sets due to heat exhaustion and dehydration with a slower than expected medical response.

According to USAToday, 25,000 people were jammed into one street with the festival featuring three different stages making for a “logistical nightmare.” Q-Tip and SZA, who were slated to perform, reportedly bailed at the last minute while there was also some reshuffling of set times throughout the weekend with no heads-up to attendees.

“I hope y’all have a ‘come to Jesus’ moment tonight with the organizing team, so the rest of the festival will be well-organized. Too many people fainted, too many wrong set times, narrow roads, awkward entrance processes… just 0/10 tonight,” another attendee wrote on Twitter.

The festival was moved from Skateboard P’s hometown of Virginia Beach to D.C. over concerns about how the city handled the police killing of his cousin Donovon Lynch.

Something In The Water also saw performances from Tyler, The Creator, 21 Savage, T.I., Ashanti, Ja Rule, Lil Uzi Vert, Rae Sremmurd, 6LACK, Roddy Ricch, Snoh Aalegra and more.