VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — You’ve heard about Something in the Water, but how about Something *Indie* Water? 

That’s indie, as in independent artists.   

50 of them from across Virginia are scheduled to perform at the free three-day event happening in Virginia Beach on April 28-30. It’s the same weekend as Pharrell Williams’ Something in the Water music festival, which will feature homegrown stars in Williams, Clipse and possibly a few others (Missy Elliott?)

Something Indie Water will run from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with more music during a brunch event that Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s one of the many free events happening that weekend, including live music at 17th Street, 24th Street and 31st Street parks and the Something in the Water Pop-Up Church on Sunday, April 30.

Will Keck with theMSQshop, a creative agency that specializes in helping independent artists, created the festival to highlight Virginia talent in particular through the national spotlight of Something in the Water.

Will Keck with Something Indie Water (repping Missy Elliott with the shirt)

“It’s really something that’s in support of Something in the Water … it’s something that we hope spans past this and can create connectivity between these major artists and regional artists,” said the Richmond native, who also goes by the rap name OG Illa.

“We have over 45 acts, we have rappers, singers, bands, all types of music,” Keck said. “We have acts coming from 757, 804, Fredericksburg, NoVa, Roanoke, it’s really a collaboration of the entire state.”

The FFX Theater’s seating.

More than half of the artists will be from right here in the 757, including Virginia Beach’s Shaolinn and Gee Litt, both female singers that blend R&B and alternative elements.

The FFX Theater stage

To make the festival happen, Keck reached out to a longtime friend in Virginia Beach hip-hop artist Intalek, who’s serving as a community liaison for the event.

“Being in the scene for over 15 years, we don’t much opportunity like this, where you’ll get thousands of fans of music, media, things like that to come to Hampton Roads,” Intalek says. “So the importance of getting our artists and creatives in front of a crowd that normally doesn’t come here is a very big deal for me.”  


Who knows? Maybe the next in a long line of Virginia-grown talent, from Missy Elliott and Timbaland to Clipse and The Neptunes, gets their big break.

“Pharrell’s got the national acts, we’ve got the Virginia, soon to be national acts,” Intalek says.

The FFX (orange canopy) is right off Atlantic Avenue at 16th Street.

It’s all going down right near the Something in the Water entrance, at the FFX Theater at the corner of 16th Street and Atlantic Avenue. 

The address might ring a bell for some older Tidewater natives. It was the longtime home of Chester’s Upper Deck, which closed back in 2014. The Upper Deck and the nearby Peppermint Beach Club were instrumental in popularizing beach music back in the 1960s.

The FFX, a non-profit interactive theater that mostly caters to families, actually features a sign from the Peppermint behind its bar.

The Peppermint Beach Club sign behind the FFX’s bar pays homage to the former music venue on 18th Street at the Oceanfront.

“We came to them with a plan and they welcome us with open arms,” Keck says of the FFX, which opened three years ago.

The space typically fits about 250 people, but capacity will bump up to above 300 for the event, says FFX “Xecutive” Director Tim Ritter. 

No reservations are required, but you might want to get there early to grab a spot.

“It’s come and go, anybody’s welcome, we’re gonna make sure we have our doors open to the public and we hope to see everybody there,” Keck says.

Here’s the full list of acts for Something Indie Water:

  1. Shaolinn
  2. Gee Litt
  3. Ni’eve
  4. Cane
  5. Roberta Lea
  6. Gifted Hands
  7. Nat
  8. G-Salih
  9. Jade Josephine
  10. Noah-O
  11. Big No
  12. LewSid
  13. Fishskale Rabble
  14. Fulmetal Parkas
  15. Khi Infinite
  16. WhyNotDuce
  17. Kingna Scott
  18. Rudy Walker
  19. Taesean
  20. Dyfferant
  21. Bobby Blaze
  22. Will Amadeus
  23. T.R.I.G
  24. Slim Kartel
  25. MachineMook
  26. Illa Styles
  27. Drew Famous
  28. Khalif Bryant
  29. Pvvli
  30. DJ Suave
  31. DJ LouDawg 
  32. Josh Forte
  33. RazJah
  34. J. Clyde
  35. Illien Rosewell
  36. JR Swiftz
  37. Zeek
  38. VonLow
  39. Nay G
  40. DJ TrapReem
  41. Kalene Scott
  42. Hyphen
  43. Andre Palace
  44. Diggity Dash
  45. DJ E Shorty
  46. Shuntell Diverse
  47. Will Jung
  48. Tell’em ImBizzy
  49. Weekend Plans 
  50. Artist to be announced April 17

To read more about the event, visit their website.