Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer said he hopes to settle the city’s differences with the organizers of Something in the Water and bring the festival back to the city.

“Let's see if we can't build that bridge back and get that positivity flowing again, right here in Virginia Beach,” Dyer said. “That's where Something in the Water deserves to be.”

The 2019 festival brought almost $24 million to local businesses and generated $1.19 million in tax revenue. Musician and Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams created it, but moved it after Virginia Beach Police shot and killed his cousin, Donovon Lynch, in 2021. 

In the aftermath of the shooting, Williams wrote that Virginia Beach was “run by - and with toxic energy.”

Fans said he was citing systemic racism in the city.

Last month the festival was held in Washington D.C. over the weekend of the Juneteenth holiday, which marks the end of slavery in Texas. In a possible nod to the holiday, Williams opened his Saturday-night performance with “Freedom.”

Virginia Beach has also seen the departure of other major events, including the Patriotic Festival and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. The city has picked up the sports event Jackalope Fest, scheduled for next year.

Dyer said he hoped to sit down with Something in the Water organizers “soon.”