Roots Picnic Announces Lineup, Venue Change

Questlove and Black Thought of The Roots
Jack Plunkett / Invision / AP
– Questlove and Black Thought of The Roots
The Roots’ Questlove and Black Thought perform at 800 Congress during SXSW in Austin, Texas, March 18.

The Roots announced the lineup and venue for the 12th annual Roots Picnic on Tuesday.

Slated for June 1, the event will once again be held in the seminal hip-hop group’s hometown of Philadelphia, although the event will move from its longtime home at Festival Pier to The Mann Center at Fairmount Park, a locale change that a press release touts as “expanding the footprint overall” of the festival.

As usual, The Roots will headline, and as has become a trend in recent years, their set will offer something unusual. In 2017, the group performed with Pharrell. In 2018, they staged a “jam session” hosted by Dave Chappelle. This year, they’ll celebrate the 20th anniversary of their groundbreaking fourth album Things Fall Apart, released in February 1999, by performing it in full.

Courtesy of Live Nation Urban

The lineup for the 12th annual Roots Picnic.

“We finally have a Roots Picnic in the Park,” said Shawn Gee, Roots manager and Live Nation Urban president, in a statement. “The vision 12 years ago was always to provide an all day musical and cultural experience in Fairmount Park. Black Thought, Questlove and I grew up spending our Sunday afternoons at the Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park watching Philly DJs spin, and enjoying the vibe and the culture.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to come full circle and bring the Picnic to Fairmount Park, I think it’s a big WIN for the city.”

Other lineup highlights include H.E.R., 21 Savage, Lil Baby, Davido, Raphael Saadiq Vs. Soulquarians, City Girls, Tank & The Bangas, Blueface and Ari Lennox.

Roots drummer and music aficionado Questlove will once again host a taping of his “Questlove Supreme” podcast and Roots MC Black Thought will stage a “live mixtape” for another year, this time featuring Yasiin Bey.

In 2018, the Roots Picnic hosted artists including Lil Uzi Vert, Dirty Projectors, 2 Chainz, Rapsody and Brandy. In 2017, the most recent year for which Pollstar box office data is available, the event — featuring performances by Lil Wayne, Solange, 21 Savage, Thundercat and more — sold 13,747 tickets and grossed $819,811.

In 2016, the Roots Picnic staged a two-day event in New York City’s Bryant Park, with a bill highlighted by D’Angelo, John Mayer, Wu-Tang Clan, David Byrne and Nile Rodgers. That festival sold 15,373 tickets and grossed $1.49 million.

After a series of presales, tickets go on sale to the general public on March 15 at noon ET.