(Credit: Frank Schwichtenberg)

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Pharrell Williams cancels festival in Virginia after cousin’s fatal shooting

After his cousin’s death earlier this year, Pharrell Williams has pulled his festival, Something In The Water.

The event was due to occur in his home state of Virginia and was launched by Pharrell back in 2019, but it now looks like it may never be returning. Meanwhile, the last two editions haven’t gone ahead due to Covid-19.

In March, his cousin, Donovan Lynch, was fatally shot by Virginian police, and the circumstances surrounding the critical incident are preventing Williams from bringing the festival back. The rapper and producer has now written a letter to Virginia Beach city manager Patrick Duhaney explaining his decision.

“I love my city, but for far too long it has been run by and with toxic energy,” Williams noted. “The toxic energy that changed the narrative several times around the homicide of my cousin, Donovan Lynch, a citizen of Virginia, is the same toxic energy that changed the narrative around the mass murder and senseless loss of life at Building Number 2,” he said in regards to a mass shooting in 2019.

He added, “Until the gatekeepers and the powers-that-be consider the citizens and the consumer base, and no longer view the idea of human rights for all as a controversial idea… I don’t have a problem with the city, but I realise the city hasn’t valued my proposed solutions, either.”

Virginia Police Beach Department previously commented that homicide detectives interviewed the officer involved in the shooting and an “independent witness”, who is another officer who witnessed Lynch’s death.

Furthermore, the officer who killed Lynch’s body camera wasn’t switched on, which they claimed was due to “unknown reasons”. The culprit is also on administrative leave following the death.