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.
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This year, in partnership with Michelle Obama’s (@michelleobama) national, nonpartisan nonprofit organization, When We All Vote (@whenweallvote), The Roots (@theroots) are launching the 13th Annual Roots Picnic (@rootspicnic) 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 (@questlove) Tarik Trotter (Two One Five Entertainment) (@blackthought) 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. 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 subscribe to The Roots Official YouTube Channel and tune into the broadcast stream by hitting the link in our bio (yt.be/music/rootspicnic). 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. Starting TODAY and continuing throughout the broadcast, there will be a call to action to allow fans to register to vote at https://weall.vote/rootspicnic or by texting ROOTS to 56005.* Throughout the broadcast this will be available in the form of a link in the live chat section allowing fans to register to vote in real time while enjoying the show. We look forward to this celebration with you!