The Roots Picnic is a yearly festival in Philadelphia. It is hosted by, you guessed it, The Roots. If you are unfamiliar The Roots are an AMAZING hip hop group that is known for their musical talent, dope lyrics, and overall swag.
I went to the Roots Picnic years ago before the pandemic when it was just one day. This was the 1st time the event occurred over a span of 2 days. Havin experience the Roots Picnic before I had a better idea of what to do and what not to do….at least I thought I did.
Before I get into the disappointments of the day. Let me school you on how to do the Roots Picnic well.
Bring a bottle of water. You will need it. It is hot and you def don’t wanna be one of those people driven out on the make shift golf cart. There are water stations too, so you’ll be fine if you need to refill. Go to Ikea and get one of those $3.00 throw blankets. This one here is $2.49. It’s a long day with plenty of walking and standing. There will come a time when you will want to lay or sit. Don’t bring your good sheets/bedding. A $3.00 blanket will suffice and at the end of the day just toss it. Bring wipes for your private area. The actual restrooms with stalls are located near the 2nd stage. Every where else will only have portable toilets. You will be grateful you have your own wipes, it’s hot and you will refresh and clean with more than just tissue. Bags must be clear and meet the dimensions. They were selling clear totes there. However, if you rather be prepared in advanced order one from amazon here. No matter what your style amazon will have something. Also there is a shopping center within walking distance. Rainbow had tons of options that worked. That’s where I got my fanny pack from. Wi-Fi and phone signals are SUPER weak. You are better off sending a carrier pigeon. It’s that bad. Lastly, eat and drink before you go. Trust me you won’t regret it.
First let me say in no way am I complaining. The pandemic took a toll on businesses and people. I may not go to another Roots Picnic, but I also doubt I will attend any other music festivals moving forward. Now let’s get into the areas of growth.
The performers were 2 hours behind. The app was practically useless as it was not updated at all. Food options were mediocre at best. You waited in line for at least an hour just to order. You got your food another 20-30 mins later. The water stations were what seemed randomly placed. You could fill up a water bottle BUT the water was not cold. It was warm. The highlight of the day for me was the Legendary tent. The DJ was rocking and the tent provided much needed shade.
The performances were good. Jazmine Sullivan and Mary J. Blige did their thing. Only problem was the set up. Jazmin’s mic wasn’t on for about a good couple minutes and we couldn’t hear her background singers. Mary killed. I’m a huge Mary fan so I have no complaints. However, my girl had to ask for water bout fifty-leven times. It got to the point I almost threw my bottle on stage for her. It was crazy.
The 2nd day I was ready. I knew what to do and what not to do. I headed straight to the Legendary Tent to party till it was time for SWV, Musiq Soulchild, Keyshia Cole, and Wizkid. Just like yesterday they were over 1hr 45 mins behind schedule. There was a surprise Freeway performance, that almost made up for it. I will say though, by this time I’ve heard so much Meek Mill, Freeway, Beanie, and every Philly artist, I was lowkey over it. Still I was willing to give it a shot. I made the best of it. DJ Jazzy Jeff was dope. It was refreshing to hear something different. My first irritation was when only SW came out there was no V. Tamara had Covid-19 and was unable to attend to perform. The performance still would’ve been fine if we could hear. That’s right, sound was off again. We couldn’t hear Coko. Fortunately, they got it together in tine for Musiq Soulchild, Keyshia Cole, and Wizkid. My 2nd irritation came when they switched the line up at the last minute. Summer Walker went on before Wizkid and we had to wait even longer.
Additionally, some things were off to me. The security at the 2nd stage were so mean. They were jerks, especially to Black women. Before you even ask, yes they were. There was little to no signage and I found some of the practices a bit weird. They zip tied the ADA portable bathrooms and were guarding it as if it was some holy relic. If you are special needs, there are designated parking, viewing, and entrance areas. I really appreciated that. If you’re not special needs, you can exit from there depending on when you want to leave and where you park, but you won’t be able to use that entrance to get in.
Now all in all I would give this event 2 snaps. It’s not bad, but honestly, it could be better. I will say it’s at least worth a try if for nothing else the experience.
Let Your Roots Light Shine!