Event Recap: The 12th Annual Roots Picnic

The Roots, Roots Picnic ’19 || Photo by: #yeaimmike

What better way to kickstart the Summer than a road trip to Philly for the annual Roots Picnic.

For the past few years, Maria Myraine has covered the annual music festival on behalf of HipHopSince1987 – produced by the legendary Roots crew, and LiveNation Urban. This year, the festival celebrated its 12th year with (as usual) an all-star line-up, as The Roots also rejoiced in the 20th anniversary of their breakthrough album, “Things Fall Apart.”

Previously held at the Festival Pier at Penns Landing, 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, the Roots Picnic was the place to be. The new location compliments the expansion the Picnic has seen in recent years — a Lifestyle stage, more interactive experiences for festival goers, and more space to accommodate the massive crowd.

It literally felt like one BIG family cookout.

Sprawled over Fairmount Park, the festival hosted three different stages: the Fairmount Park Stage, the Mann Stage, and the Cricket Stage for panelists and podcasts. While we arrived early, the Picnic kicked off around Noon 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 nostalgia 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.