The Roots Partner With Michelle Obama For Virtual Festival

The 13th annual Roots Picnic will be online this year, with appearances from the likes of Lil Baby, H.E.R. and Earthgang.

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Photo: Erika Goldring/Getty Images

In the era of COVID-19, The Roots will offer a virtual twist on their “Roots Picnic” music festival this year. Originally scheduled to take place at Philadelphia’s Fairmont Park, the 13th annual Roots Picnic will now be in the form of a live-stream via the band’s YouTube on 27 June. Beginning at 6:00 pm EST, the virtual event will be co-hosted by The Roots’ Questlove and Black Thought, along with Michelle Obama, and will feature a variety of musical performances, including those by chart-topping artists Lil Baby, H.E.R. and Roddy Ricch, as well as appearances by the likes of Kerry Washington, Tom Hanks, and Tracee Ellis Ross.

For this special edition of the Roots Picnic, the legendary hip-hop group and Tonight Show house band have teamed up with the former First Lady’s When We All Vote registration initiative – a non-profit, nonpartisan, grassroots organisation that aims to increase participation in every election.

Known for careful curation that unites music’s hottest acts, influencers, tastemakers, and thought leaders, The Roots Picnic was originally scheduled to take place on 31 May, ahead of the pandemic. The live-stream event will still maintain that same spirit, with an incredible collection of participants. In addition to those listed above, viewers can expect to see performances by Earthgang, SZA, Musiq Soulchild and DJ D-Nice, among others. Appearances will also be made by the likes of Janelle Monáe, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Liza Koshy and Chris Paul.

The Roots, meanwhile, have been keeping their fans occupied throughout quarantine with a variety of content, including regular DJ sets from Questlove, plus his weekly “Questlove Supreme Live” podcast. Black Thought, aka Tariq Trotter, has also been dropping his “Streams Of Thought” episodes on YouTube, which feature a variety of content and conversations with friends, thought leaders and fellow musicians. Keyboardist James Poyser, guitarist “Captain” Kirk Douglas and the group’s newest member, Stro Elliot, are all sharing regular content with fans on YouTube as well.

Listen to the best of The Roots on Apple Music and Spotify.

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