VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Beach businessman Bruce Thompson recently turned down Grammy award-winning singer and Virginia Beach native, Pharrell Williams' plans to hold an event at the historic Cavalier Hotel featuring comedian Dave Chappelle.
Days after it surfaced, Pharrell has decided not to bring his Something in the Water music festival to Virginia Beach.
Pharrell says the cancelation is due to his dissatisfaction with the city's handling of the fatal police shooting of his cousin, Donovon Lynch, in March.
Thompson expressed his main concern is that the Cavalier is a family resort, and he feels as though Chappelle is not appropriate for the environment.
“I made it clear that the Cavalier is a family resort in the middle of a residential neighborhood. We feel Dave Chappelle’s material is not appropriate to be in that environment,” he said.
He says the event should not be outside on the lawn and should be inside “where people can elect to go to the show rather than be subjected to the show.”
Thompson says the event could possibly work out if the event were moved inside.
Thompson wanted to work out logistics.
He said under the current format, they cannot accommodate the crowd size outside on the lawn.
He told WTKR that Pharrell’s production manager suggested the Cavalier’s decision was racially motivated. However, Thompson states that is not the case and says, “it’s unfair to suggest that.”
Thompson said he would like to speak to Pharrell directly and says he never heard back from his team.
He told WTKR that he has nothing against Pharrell and hosted him and his team at the hotel during the Something in the Water Festival.
WTKR spoke to a person close to Pharrell Williams that said, "The event was attempted to be hosted at the Cavalier, and for various reasons, the hotel was not able to accommodate the event. It will be moved to another location later this month."
WTKR first reported this story.