Festivalgoers share their experience at DC’s Something in the Water

The three-day Something in the Water music festival began Friday, and attendees shared what they thought of its inaugural showing in the District.

“It was amazing. Very well organized. The energy was great. The sound was great. It was awesome,” festivalgoer Mia Dinero told WTOP.

Rapper and festival organizer Pharrell Williams decided to move the concert out of Virginia Beach — his hometown — after his cousin was shot and killed by city police in March 2021. Williams announced that Something in the Water would be relocated to D.C.’s National Mall.

That was welcome news for Dinero, who missed the original festival in 2019. The Dumfries, Virginia, resident was so amped up that she maneuvered her way to the front row, even if it wasn’t so easy holding that spot.

“I had to sacrifice being in the front row because, you know, once you’re in the front, you can’t really leave,” Dinero said. “But (for Saturday) … I’m gonna prepare a little differently.”

Dinero mentioned that the three-stage layout required attendees to prioritize which artist they wanted to see.

Another festivalgoer named Remi said that the proximity of two stages in particular caused performances to overlap. The Maryland resident also said Friday’s extreme heat coupled with a tightly-packed crowd caused some people to pass out.

“There was no space to actually get out, because it was just so overcrowded… People were even saying that it could be Astroworld all over again,” Remi told WTOP, referencing rapper Travis Scott’s November concert where 10 people died and hundreds were injured after the crowd surged toward the stage.

D.C. Fire and EMS told WTOP news partner NBC Washington that six people were taken from the festival to hospitals Friday evening for heat-related illnesses.

However, authorities told NBC Washington that no one had a life-threatening condition. D.C. Fire also said that a number of people were treated by personnel on site as well, but they were able to be cooled down and returned without incident, according to NBC Washington.

Temperatures topped out in the upper 90s in the District on Friday.

Gates opened for the second day of Something in the Water at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

WTOP’s Lauren Hamilton contributed to this report.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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