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Culture » 13th annual Roots Picnic goes virtual with Michelle Obama, Lil Baby and more

13th annual Roots Picnic goes virtual with Michelle Obama, Lil Baby and more

Lil Baby at WGCI’s Summer Jam  (Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre)

As the global pandemic continues, the 2020 Roots Picnic has announced it’s going to host its celebration virtually this year.

Although the annual music festival started by the iconic hip-hop group The Roots is typically a highlight of the summertime in Philadelphia, the event will still be impactful.

While the event will remain rooted in music and culture, this year there will be a heavy push to encourage people to vote and help them get registered.

The Roots joined forces with former first lady Michelle Obama and her nonprofit When We All Vote to make that happen.

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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 ( 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 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! 🎶🗳

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The event is scheduled to air exclusively at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST on Saturday, June 27, on YouTube. It will feature performances by Lil Baby, Kirk Franklin, H.E.R, G-Herbo, SZA, and many others.

Obama, Kerry Washington and Janelle Monáe are among the evening’s featured speakers.

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