The Roots Picnic 2020 goes virtual

Event will be hosted by Questlove, Black Thought & When We All Vote

This year, in partnership with Michelle Obama’s national, nonpartisan nonprofit organization, When We All Vote, The Roots are launching the 13th Annual Roots Picnic as a virtual broadcast experience on Saturday, June 27th, exclusively on YouTube. The event is executive produced by Shawn Gee (Live Nation Urban), Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tarik Trotter (Two One Five Entertainment) and Dan Parise (DPS).

Hosted by Questlove, Black Thought and Michelle Obama, the picnic will be filled with amazing performances by a diverse group of young highly popular hip hop, R&B and gospel artists with the goal of engaging and reaching 500,000 eligible voters. When We All Vote volunteers will sign up to text voters throughout the show through Outvote, a web and mobile organizing platform used to reach unregistered voters. Volunteers can sign-up to learn how to reach voters before the event. In addition to music, this event will include pre-recorded segments with musicians, athletes, social media influencers, When We All Vote co-chairs and The Roots sharing one simple call to action, register to vote.

Fans can anticipate performances by The Roots, H.E.R., Roddy Ricch, Lil Baby, SZA, Kirk Franklin, Snoh Aalegra, Earthgang, G Herbo, Polo G, D Nice and Musiq Soulchild (backed by The Roots) and appearances by Michelle Obama, Lin Manuel Miranda, Chris Paul, Tom Hanks, Liza Koshy, Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross, Janelle Monáe, and Elaine Welteroth.

“Historically, Questlove & Black Thought have always been very active participants in the voting process, however I felt that it was imperative that this year I open up both The Roots and my Live Nation Urban platforms as vehicles for both voter education and voter registration.” states Shawn Gee, The Roots manager and President of Live Nation Urban. “Our goal is to aggressively impact change and we’re going to have some fun while doing so. This year, we are incredibly proud to partner with Mrs. Obama’s When We All Vote to ensure our audience has the resources they need to register and vote in November’s election.”

“As we face one of the most challenging years for our nation, we could all use a moment of inspiration and light to help focus on what we can do to take action together – and that action is voting. When We All Vote is on a mission to change the culture around voting and we are committed to closing the age and race gap of those who show up at the ballot box, increasing participation in each and every election,” shares When We All Vote Managing Director of Communications and Culture Stephanie L. Young. “To change the culture means we have to be in the culture, and iconic events like the The Roots Picnic, a celebration of the most influential artists of today, is just that.”

The partnership comes from a shared ethos of wanting to reach the most underrepresented community of people when it comes to voting, black people between the ages of 21-35. Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote and The Roots have a common goal: To educate and inspire communities to use their voices and vote to make a difference. Through the broadcast, there will be a call to action to allow fans to register to vote online or by texting ROOTS to 56005. This will also be available in the form of a link in the live chat during the broadcast, allowing fans to register to vote in real time while enjoying the show. Additionally, When We All Vote volunteers will work throughout the day and during the show to text and engage 500,000 eligible voters.

This year’s Picnic was supposed to include performances by Philadelphia’s own Meek Mill, as well as Summer Walker, DaBaby, Snoh Aalegra, Burna Boy, Thundercat and many more. It’s been postponed to next year, but no word on headliners.

The Roots are still eager to engage their core audience both in the Philadelphia region and around the world. Over the past 12 years, The Roots Picnic, which is co-produced with Geoff Gordon and the Live Nation Philly team, has become the premiere event and hub for culture for the core audience of Philadelphia and beyond. The picnic is an event known to draw a diverse multicultural mix of Gen X millennial and Gen Z attendees, and is curated and produced specifically with tier interests in mind.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.