Updated: May 31, 2019
For the month of April, the Power Person of the Month is Pharrell Williams. Pharrell is known to the world as a singer, songwriter, fashion designer, and of course, a super producer. To his hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia, he will forever be cemented as an icon or legend. While he has been making hit records with his beats or his vocals, or creating cool Billionaire Boys Club shirts for years, it isn’t these accomplishments that make him stand out to be recognized as Watch My Black’s Power Person of the Month.
Over the weekend, Pharrell and his dedicated team pulled off the unthinkable. Pharrell curated a Festival in his birth city on the sand, which many saw as impossible. Pharrell hosted a festival that brought more than 44,000 people to the shorefront of Virginia Beach. The festival was announced on March 4th and tickets went on sale on March 8th. The sold out event was a huge success and the Tidewater Region is expected to see enormous benefits from the influx of people who visited the area. Pharrell spoke to a group of festival goers and he said the idea came from a question he asked himself, “What is the best structure, what is the construct we could not only offer our community but the rest of the world”. He said music is the thread that connects fashion, arts, designers, architects, athletes, and academics.
The festival took place during beach weekend, which is normally filled with violence and crime. Not a single shot was fired this past weekend, not a single fight. Just good music and good vibes. According to Wavy 10, the city of Virginia Beach as already included $250K in the budget next year for the festival to take place. Hotels are already being booked for the weekend a year away.
Pharrell was not referring to the festival as a music festival, he called it a “Community Festival”, as there were several events and conversations that did not involve music such as Breaking Into Tech, The Art of Music Publishing, a pitch competition, a Shark Tank event, meditation, Black Millennial Faith, Education Equity, and a few other panels and conversations that the festival goers could attend.
As far as the music festival acts go, there was no shortage of who came and showed out on the stage. Snoop Dogg, Usher, Diddy, Jay-Z, SZA, Travis Scott, Charlie Wilson, Anderson Paak, Teddy Riley, Jhene’ Aiko, and Charlie Wilson all graced the festival stage. Virginia products such as Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Dram, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and even Pharreell himself, all came on to give their home state love as well.
While the festival was a huge success, it was not without its snafus. The city council took a long time deciding on letting the festival use city school buses as shuttles for festival attendees. Pharrell fought for that and won. Air BnB hosts were not extremely welcoming of the idea of having thousands of people in their homes, Pharrell helped take care of that. The Friday of the festival was canceled due to inclement weather, Pharrell issued a 33% refund to all persons who purchased a ticket. Pharrell met every challenge head on, just as any person of power should. For that, the attendees are forever grateful.