Due to COVID-19, The Roots’ annual Roots Picnic festival will be held virtually this year via a YouTube livestream. Questlove, Black Thought and the Philadelphia-bred hip hop group have also teamed up with Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote nonprofit to encourage viewers to register to vote throughout the event.
“Historically, Questlove and Black Thought have always been very active participants in the voting process,” The Roots’ manager and Live Nation Urban president Shawn Gee said in a press statement. “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.”
“Our goal is to aggressively impact change and we’re going to have some fun while doing so,” he continued. “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.”
Throughout the event, When We All Vote volunteers will send text messages to unregistered voters via Outvote. The organization hopes to reach at least 500,000 eligible voters.
The fest is also stacked with several hip hop and R&B virtual performers, including Lil Baby, Roddy Ricch, SZA, EarthGang, G Herbo, Polo G, DJ D-Nice, H.E.R., Kirk Franklin, Snoh Aalegra, Musiq Soulchild and, of course, The Roots.
Tracee Ellis Ross, Janelle Monáe, Kerry Washington, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris Paul, Tom Hanks, Liza Koshy and Elaine Welteroth will also make special appearances during the livestream.
The event will be co-hosted by Black Thought, Questlove and Michelle Obama and is set to take place on June 27. Those who wish to tune in to the Roots Picnic can RSVP here and can sign up to volunteer for When We All Vote’s voter outreach program here.
A traditional Roots Picnic will reportedly take place in 2021. See more details about this year’s virtual edition below.