The Legendary Roots Crew just announced that their annual Roots Picnic will be hosted by our Forever First Lady, Michelle Obama.
The 13th annual picnic, normally hosted in the group's native city, Philadelphia, will be going virtual this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In light of this year’s format, the hip hop band has teamed up with Michelle Obama’s organization, When We All Vote, in an effort to increase voter registration during the event. Obama will co-host with group members Black Thought and Questlove.
The event will feature performances from H.E.R., Lil Baby, Roddy Ricch, SZA, D-Nice and Kirk Franklin along with special guest appearances from Janelle Monae, Tracee Ellis Ross, comedian Deon Cole, entertainment entrepreneur Coach K, digital content creator Wallo 267 and popular NY culinary collective, Ghetto Gastro.
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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! 🎶🗳
Shawn Gee, president of Live Nation Urban and The Roots’ manager, spoke to Revolt about the partnership with Obama, saying, “Historically, Questlove and Black Thought have always been very active participants in the voting process. 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.
"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.”
Volunteers with Obama’s organization will send out text messages to unregistered voters throughout the event. When We All Vote’s goal is to register at least 500,000 eligible voters. Obama tweeted about the event saying she “couldn’t be more excited,” and encouraged people to join in the festivities to get registered to vote.
To sign up as a volunteer with When We All Vote, visit the website here. You can also RSVP for the Roots Picnic on their site. The virtual picnic will stream live, Saturday, June 27 at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT) on YouTube. The Roots will resume their regular festival next year in 2021.