It’s been ten years since the two-day festival first took root (see what I did there?) in Philadelphia. Now, as the acclaimed and always highly-anticipated Roots Picnic enters its first decade of existence, fans and musicians alike excited about what’s to come. After experimenting with a NYC location last year, the festival returns to the City of Brotherly Love.
Roots front man, Black Thought, and drummer, QuestLove, recently sat down with Billboard to discuss the event’s tenth anniversary and all the feels it evokes.
“It speaks to the strength of the brand and the uniqueness of the brand that we’re still around 10 years later, and still strong," remarks Black Thought, who will be headlining with his fellow band members along with musical acts like 21 Savage, Pharrell Williams, Solange and Lil’ Wayne. “I feel like it’s a brand that will continue to grow because it’s something that we very closely curate and it’s a painstaking process of connecting to the artists, the lineup and the order in which everyone’s going to perform, which songs they’re going to do with The Roots. We take part in every step along the way and I feel like that’s a huge difference.”
The twosome say that they want to bring a uniqueness to the festival circuit, booking acts that, for the most part, are fresh to the game yet are still able to bring the energy needed for a show of this caliber. Artists like Noname, Kimbra, and PNB Rock will get their chance to shine. To Black Thought, that’s what it’s all about. “We try to get people who aren’t performing at other festivals, first and foremost. And if it is an artist that does the circuit, we want to get them represented in a super-unique light. You can go to every festival and you’ll see the same people time and time again, but you’re not gonna see them in the same capacity that they’ll be performing at the Roots Picnic.”
The Roots Picnic is scheduled to take place Saturday, June 3 at the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing.