Jun 16, 2022 - Things to Do

What you need to know about D.C.'s Something in the Water music festival

Charlie Wilson performs in front of a large crowd overlooking the water.

Charlie Wilson performs onstage at Something in the Water in 2019. Photo: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Something in the Water

D.C. is in for another busy weekend. This time it’s Pharrell’s Something in the Water music festival that’ll bring together thousands of people near L’Enfant Plaza in Southwest.

The big picture: Security is top of mind for all large events these days, especially following a scary incident involving a person who reportedly claimed to have a gun at the March for Our Lives rally last weekend.

What’s happening: The festival is working with the city’s public safety agencies to keep festivalgoers safe, but neither city agencies nor the festival are releasing security specifics.   

What they’re saying: “DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency will provide operational support and threat intelligence, and at this time there are no known threats related to this weekend’s events,” a joint statement from HSEMA, MPD, and FEMS said.​​

Here’s what we know:

There will be heavy traffic in Southwest. There’s a long list of road closures.

The lineup. Usher will close the show on Friday, Pharrell and Phriends will end the night on Saturday, and J. Balvin will wrap up the festival on Sunday.

What to bring and leave behind: Here’s the full list of festival FAQs. Here are some to keep in mind:

  • Bags should only have one compartment and should be under 14” x 11” x 5” — about the size of a standard backpack.
  • Water bottles are allowed but they must be empty. 
  • Aerosol products, professional cameras, and outside food and drinks are not allowed.

Entrance points. The festival will take place along Independence Avenue, and attendees can enter on 4th St. SW, 7th St. SW, or Maryland Ave. SW.

Free water will be available. A map of the venue shows three free water stations. That same map shows six bathrooms, along with places where food and alcohol will be sold.

Attendees can exit and re-enter the festival as many times as they like. To leave and re-enter on the same day, make sure to get your wristband scanned at the exit.

And what we don’t know:

How many tickets were sold. The festival did not respond to our request. But, Fox 5 reports that 50,000 people are expected to attend.


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