Walmart sponsors Pharrell Williams’ SOMETHING IN THE WATER music festival in Virginia Beach, Virginia, that will celebrate diversity, community, potential; event will feature Walmart Makers Studio, an on-site activation space to highlight Black makers

Sample article from our Sustainability & Social Responsibility

April 21, 2023 (press release) –

As the country’s largest private employer, we are continually committed to strengthening the communities where we operate by advancing equity and belonging, and supporting local organizations and causes that help people live their full potential. Belonging is what we want everyone to feel when they walk through the doors at Walmart, but it’s a vision that extends far beyond our stores. That’s why we’re honored to be the first-ever presenting sponsor of Pharrell Williams’ SOMETHING IN THE WATER music festival in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a can’t-miss music event set to the soundtrack of celebrating diversity, community and potential.

In addition to the amazing slate of performances from some of the world’s biggest artists, we’re bringing concertgoers curated exhibitions designed to spotlight and support Black makers, like business owners, creators, artists or entrepreneurs.

One way we’re doing that is through the return of Walmart Makers Studio – an on-site activation space aimed at highlighting and celebrating the amazing contributions of Black makers of all kinds. It’s an opportunity for festivalgoers to be introduced to Black-owned brands, creators, and artists and learn more about the people and stories behind those products. While there, fans can elevate their festival look at the beauty bar, celebrate Black joy by customizing a bucket hat with exclusive patches and pins, and kick back in Walmart’s beachfront lounge.

We’re also joining forces with Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition, a nonprofit initiative working to close the opportunity and wealth gap through entrepreneurship for the annual Pull Up & Pitch competition. 500+ local entrepreneurs will have 60 seconds to pitch their media & entertainment, CPG or tech business to a panel of judges for a chance at thousands of dollars in prizes.

Walmart is also teaming up with Richmond, Virginia-based African American visual artist Hampton Boyer, whose art has been featured in museums and galleries across the U.S. and abroad, to design co-branded festival merchandise exclusively available on the NTWRK app.

Through the app, users can enter a drawing for the chance to get their hands on limited-run merch starting Monday, April 24. The merchandise will also be sold on-site at the festival – so whether fans are attending SOMETHING IN THE WATER or not, we’ve got them covered! The limited-edition Walmart x SOMETHING IN THE WATER products will be showcased in an exclusive NTWRK episode airing April 28 at 8 p.m. ET, while the drawing will close promptly at 8:30 p.m. ET after the conclusion of the episode.

To make attending SOMETHING IN THE WATER accessible for more people in Virginia’s Hampton Roads community, Walmart is partnering with the Urban League of Hampton Roads to offer tickets for Urban League volunteers to attend for free, as well as sponsoring the SOMETHING IN THE WATER community event titled “A Seat at the Table: An Arts & Culture Experience.” And for those without a ticket, we’re helping you tune in by cosponsoring the livestream of the entire festival lineup on YouTube.

These are just a few ways we’re celebrating community and inclusion while bringing unique experiences to the 757 community during this much-anticipated event in Virginia Beach. Our vision of belonging is unwavering. That’s why you’ll continue to see us step up to the mic to sing the praises of the people and places that share our vision in communities across the U.S.

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Dan Rivard
Dan Rivard
- VP Market Development -

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