Pharrell Williams has canceled his hometown music festival citing “toxic energy” in the city of Virginia where his cousin was shot by police earlier this year.
The Something in the Water festival in Virginia Beach has been authorized to reopen in 2022 by city leaders. Williams indicated in September that he was not going to bring the festival back and wrote to officials that he was disappointed with the way the city reacted to the death of his cousin, The Virginia Pilot reported.
“When we did the festival, it was to ease racial tensions, unify the region, create opportunities for economic development… I love my city, but for too long it has been run by – and – with toxic energy. “Williams said. wrote in a letter to CEO Patrick Duhaney, according to Deployment.
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The 2019 festival brought in over $ 24 million to the city, and a 2022 festival is expected to be worth much more, The Guardian reports.
A Virginia police officer shot dead Williams’ cousin Donovan Lynch, 25, and Deshayla Harris, and injured eight others, according to The Guardian. The two officers at the scene did not have body cameras on.
In June, Lynch’s father filed a $ 50 million wrongful death claim.
The city said Lynch pointed a gun at the officer and the officer allegedly “Fears for his life and that of other officers and citizens nearby,” the city said according to The Guardian.
“I wish the same energy that I felt from the leadership in Virginia Beach during the loss of the festival would have been channeled the same way after the loss of my parent’s life,” Williams wrote in the letter. .
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