Philadelphia kickstarts the Summer, playing host to The Roots' annual Roots Picnic.
For the past few years, Maria Myraine has covered the annual music festival on behalf of King Ice – produced by the legendary Roots crew, and LiveNation Urban. Every year, the festival is celebration of the storied career of one of Hip Hop's iconic groups. The Picnic celebrated its 12th year this year with an all-star line-up. The Picnic was also a nod to the 20th anniversary of The Roots' breakthrough album, “Things Fall Apart.”
In previous years, the Picnic was held at the Festival Pier at Penns Landing. But this Summer, the Picnic found a new home at the Mann Center in Fairmount Park – and it resulted in the biggest turnout the festival had seen. With over 25,000 fans in attendance, this was the place to be on June 1st. The new location complimented the expansion the Picnic has made in recent years — with the addition of a Lifestyle stage, more interactive experiences for festival goers, installations and more vendors.
It literally felt like one BIG family cookout. And it was good vibes only.
Spread across the spacious, Fairmount Park, the Picnic hosted three different stages: the Fairmount Park Stage, the Mann Stage, and the Cricket Stage for panelists and podcasts. We arrived early, but the Picnic didn't kick off til around Noon. Speakers were blaring throughout the Park as some of music’s hottest up and coming acts hit the stage – including Tobe Nwigwe, Air Lennox, Asiahn, and more. In addition to the various stages, iconic rapper, Common, was also in attendance for his book signing station in the Festival. Ofcourse, he joined in on the musical festivities across a couple of the stages.
As the day unfolded, the crowd started making their way to the Fairmount Park Stage where Black Thought, Queslove and the Roots band took over. From the opening number, the Roots captured the essence of their album, “Things Fall Apart.” The seminal album, that was released 20 years ago, is timeless – which called for an unforgettable performance. Appearing throughout their closing set were the likes of Ursala Rucker, Dice Raw, Common, Beanie Siegel, Yasiin Bey, and “Jilly From Philly” (Jill Scott).
The nostalgic vibes that The Roots bring year after year at this staple event is unmatched. And is a testament to the good music – and it’s immortality.
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Jilly from Philly! @missjillscott • @blackthought || @theroots kicked off the Summer w/ @rootspicnic in #Philly earlier this month, as always #MariaMyraine got to cover their annual festival 📸: @yea_im_mike • #TheRoots #musicfestivals #RootsPicnic #HipHop #instagood #yeaimmike