Coronavirus might have cancelled everything from Coachella to Burning Man, but live music continues to live on, thanks to Michelle Obama (yes, the former American First Lady).
The star of Netflix documentary Becoming, will be bringing back to life ‘Roots Picnic’– a music festival that has been held for the past 13 years by hip-hop band The Roots. Not only that, but Obama herself will be co-hosting it.
The event usually takes place over the course of a weekend in Philadelphia. This year, they’re taking a different direction. The festival will be held online on June 27, and will include performances of artists like Solange, SZA, Lil Uzi Vert, Roddy Ricch, Lil Baby and Pharrell.
And it’s not just about music. Michelle Obama’s involvement is no coincidence; this year’s edition aims to encourage young people to go vote.
In addition to the concerts, some of your favourite journalists and activists have also been invited to take part in the live-streamed event. Former Teen Vogue Editor in Chief, Elaine Welteroth, Tracee Elliss Ross and Janelle Monae are on the roster, with an overarching mission to inspire a political revolution among young people.
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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! 🎶🗳
There couldn’t be a better time for such an event. Witnessing the tragic death of George Floyd in the midst of a pandemic has galvanised a new generation of activists globally, determined to demand change and ready to take action.
If you’re on a mission to fight for a better world, and want to listen to some really good music in the process—look further. Roots Picnic has made it possible. All you have to do is register here and bring all your friends.