Hollywood & Hometown
The Something In The Water Festival was the largest festival ever to hit Virginia Beach, and I had a front row seat to all of the action during the 3 day weekend. Created and curated by Pharrell Williams, SITW was a music and arts festival that featured national recording artists, More Than The Music conversations, art walks, Pop Up Church Service, and more. As the host of the More Than The Music Conversations, I had the pleasure of meeting, introducing, and chatting with some of the biggest movers and shakers in all industries. From the hustle and bustle of everything, to soaking in all of the action, check out some of my festival highlights through photos and some of my personal takeaways from literally, the MOST EPIC weekend in Virginia.
4/24 - Though planning for us had been going on for months, the first "official" event was the Battle of The Bands: A Celebration of Chad Hugo in which Chad from The Neptunes received the Key To The City of Virginia Beach. It was so awesome to see what VBCPS High School bands were able to pull off in just a few short weeks, playing N.E.R.D. and Neptunes-produced songs.
4/25 - The next day, I had rehearsal for my Mistress of Ceremony duties in which we did audio and lighting checks, stage walk-throughs, and script run-throughs. This was super fun but also made me kind of nervous lol
A few hours later, I had to rush home to change and get ready for another official event hosted by XQ Super School. This was an awesome educational presentation in which real life student stories were told through theatrical presentations. I was excited that I got to invite my Mom to come with me. Even better, she got a photo with Pharrell as an early birthday gift. This is was plus for her as that night she kept our daughter Aria for me and Joe for the entire weekend while we worked the festival.
That same night, Joe and I attended a private skate party hosted by Usher and friends. This was super fun as we drank wine slushies + Ciroc Watermelon cocktails, ate Feather 'n' Fin chicken sandwiches, and watched people skate all night. I'm a little rusty on skates to I didn't even bother trying. We didn't get back to our Air BnB until like 3AM...forgetting that we had to be up at 6:30AM the next morning...Struggle bus! lol
4/26 - My makeup artist arrived to our Air BnB around 6:50AM to start on my make up. I was also taking over my alma mater's (Hampton University) Instagram that morning through the day so I began those duties as well. It was so much going on that morning, but I was up for the task! In between everything, I had to figure out my pumping schedule since I'm still nursing. Trying to find time for those breaks was the hardest, for me, but everyone I was working with made sure I had time and space to do so. Thank GOD!
Even more awesome was that me and Joe's production company, The Redelynn Group, was handling all of the video production for the More Than The Music Conversations. So while I was hosting, Joe was directing. TEAMWALTERS!
Day 1 of More Than The Music Conversations was amazing!
4/27 - Day 2 of the More Than The Music Conversations was super long, but was a breeze. We worked with the most dedicated staff from iAmOTHER who kept everything flowing effortlessly. It was also humbling to meet and introduce people who I had been following on Instagram for years. Even got to connect with a bunch of Hampton U fam! It's so crazy to see a vision some to life and how much time and man power it takes to pull off an event like this.
We finished up our last conversation around 8:00. We quickly broke down all the equipment , changed clothes, and packed up in time to head to the concert. We all wanted to check out the Pharrell + Friends set, and as we knew, it did NOT disappointed. He brought out Snoop Dogg, Usher, Missy, Timbaland + Magoo, Jay-Z, Charlie Wilson, Busta Rhymes, etc. Truly unforgettable to see this in real time.
4/28 - The final day of SITW was so beautiful...Pop Up Church Service! This event was free and open to the public and PACKED. It was so gratifying to see everyone there worshiping and praising along with the guest preachers, speakers, and local and national acts. Unfortunately, towards the end of the night it rained so Mary Mary and Kirk Franklin could not perform. I personally did not have to do any MC'ing or interviewing this day but moreso helped with a lot of behind the scenes stuff while Joe and our crew filmed the entire day.
Although I didn't get to see all of the activations during the festival because I was working (the downfall of working an event!), it was evident that the entire area truly embrace SITW. Honestly, I was living vicariously through a lot of people's Instagrams who were at all of the other activations and sights around the city. Overall, I had the most life changing experience as it renewed my faith in the statement "what's meant for you will never pass you by." More to come on that testimony...Can't wait until next year!
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