Something in the Water 2022: Organizers to give refunds to ticket holders turned away

That’s a wrap for Pharrell’s Something In The Water music festival in DC. 

Some attendees say they had a bad experience due to crammed crowds creating safety concerns, which even prevented some ticket holders from being allowed in. On top of that, the disorganization was frustrating for many. 

Viewers are reaching out to FOX 5 saying the music festival was not accessible for people with special needs and disabilities.

Sierra Fox spoke with a certified ASL interpreter who does concerts all across the country and says this one was a nightmare.


"This was the worst experience that I’ve ever had. Between production and security and the police — no one communicated with anyone," said JaRon Gilchrist, a certified ASL interpreter. "No one knew the role of the interpreter, where we were supposed to be. We couldn’t even access backstage, access the areas we were supposed to be with all of the wristbands. I was wristbanded up, and it didn’t mean anything."

People traveled from all over the United States to experience Something In The Water. Some ticket holders even just came to see Pharrell and Phriends perform on Saturday night, but were instead turned away at the gate and not allowed in.

Something in the Water 2022: Pharrell Williams to hold music festival in DC this summer

"I don’t understand how it’s overcrowded if they sold a certain amount of tickets, and they allocated the space based on ticket sales," said Ngeri Nnachi, a SITW attendee. "I don’t understand how it was overcrowded. So, just based on that logistical nightmare I wouldn’t be returning, and it’s sad because those are artists it seems like yearly there are artists I would love to see. This was my first time, not gonna go again," 

This is what an officer told concertgoers over the intercom citing safety concerns inside: "You will not be able to maneuver here tonight due to overcrowding. Just wanted to make sure everyone was aware, so you don’t waste your time staying out here."

"Due to overcrowding, I was trying to leave the venue, so I had to squeeze my way through people and as I was squeezing my way through people, one of the artists came out on the stage and I got pushed all the way against the barricade. One of the concertgoers signaled to MPD to pull me over the gate," said Tory’Elle Coleman, another concertgoer who attended SITW.

People who contacted FOX 5 for help believe that the festival venue and staffing weren’t able to handle the 30,000 ticket holders creating dangerous situations and causing some people to get squished. 

Video shows security helping people inside the event hop over the fence to escape feeling trapped.

"People were trying to come to Pharrell, so it was like people leaving and people going – it got like stuck and it was very sketchy. We literally hopped the fence because we were like we’re about to suffocate," one concertgoer said in a video.

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Anyone wanting a refund for Saturday night due to not being allowed in can fill out this form by July 1st to receive a reimbursement.

Another issue at the music festival was the high number of cellphones being stolen. Guest Services told FOX 5 DC that over 100 cellphones were reported stolen on Sunday alone. 

D.C. police say they are investigating and have devices at the first and fourth districts. If you lost yours, you can call the Property Clerk at 202-698-0555.