Mary J. Blige, Summer Walker, Wizkid Top First In-Person Roots Picnic Since 2019
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images – Summer Walker
performs onstage during the 2021 Soul Train Awards at The Apollo Theater on November 20, 2021 in New York City.
Roots Picnic announced its return Tuesday with a lineup topped by Mary J. Blige with The Roots, Summer Walker and Wizkid.
The Philadelphia festival, which will take place at The Mann At Fairmount Park June 4 and 5, will also include Jazmine Sullivan, Kamasi Washington, J Period (a live mixtape featuring Black Thought, Rick Ross and Benny the Butcher), the Soulquarians Jam Session (featuring Keyshia Cole, SWV and Musiq Soulchild), Masego, Kirk Franklin, G Herbo, Tierra Whack, Freddie Gibbs, Mickey Guyton, Yebba, Chief Keef, Robert Glasper & Bilal, DJ Jazzy Jeff & Rakim and Muni Long, among others.
“After a long two years, we are excited to announce the return of The Roots Picnic to Philly with two days of music and culture at the Mann at Fairmount Park,” said event co-founder Shawn Gee, who is also The Roots’ manager and president of Live Nation Urban. “This year, Black Thought, Questlove and I attempted to curate a lineup that broke through the genre barriers that often separate us in black culture. To be able to book Mickey Guyton, Kirk Franklin, G Herbo, Wizkid, Wallo & Gillie, and Mary J Blige on the same lineup was a dream come true.”
This year’s Roots Picnic will also have a podcast stage hosting the likes of “Million Dollaz Worth of Game,” “Rory & Mal” and “Questlove Supreme.”
While the festival marks Roots Picnic’s first in-person event since 2019, it will also feature a livestreamed component hosted exclusively on YouTube, building on the Roots Picnic Virtual Experience launched by the property during the pandemic in June 2020.
At its most recent physical iteration in 2019, Roots Picnic was headlined by The Roots, H.E.R. and 21 Savage, and also included Lil Baby, Davido, Raphael Saadiq, City Girls, Tank & The Bangas and Ari Lennox, among others. Roots Picnic’s 2017 event, the most recent year for which Pollstar box office data is available – sold 13,747 tickets and grossed $819,811.
“The beauty of what we’re doing is building these platforms from scratch,” Gee told Pollstar when he was named to its inaugural Impact 50 list in 2019, reflecting on how Roots Picnic became a model for now-prevalent artist-curated festivals. “We’re 100% entrepreneurial in spirit. We’re not sitting and waiting for agents to call us with a tour idea.”
Gee also appeared on Impact 50 in 2020 and 2021.
Tickets for Roots Picnic go onsale to the general public on Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. ET.