From Beyoncé to the Bronx Zoo, There's So Much to Watch and Do This Weekend [Corrected]

Beyonce’s ‘Black Is King’ comes to Disney+, The Bronx Zoo and other NYC zoos and aquariums have opened, and members of the original cast of ‘Hamilton’ will take part in a special charity performance event. (Pictured: Leslie Odom Jr.)
Beyonce’s ‘Black Is King’ comes to Disney+, The Bronx Zoo and other NYC zoos and aquariums have opened, and members of the original cast of ‘Hamilton’ will take part in a special charity performance event. (Pictured: Leslie Odom Jr.)
Photo: Gareth Cattermole (Getty Images), Cindy Ord (Getty Images), David Dee Delgado (Getty Images)

With all that’s going on in the world, it can be challenging to remember to sit down, take the load off and just breathe. While things are opening up slowly but surely (albeit prematurely, in my opinion), social media remains chock full of entertainment, so you can stay inside. Especially during times like these, we need a little escape, and virtual media continues to provide.


If you don’t have any plans to keep yourself occupied this weekend, The Root is here with options. Not only do these virtual and (safe, CDC-regulated) in-person events cover the entertainment aspect we need, many of them are philanthropic, as well.

Check out a few events happening this weekend if you’re looking for a little something to do.



Chicago is live-streaming their popular three-day festival Lollapalooza on the event’s website and YouTube channel. Alabama Shakes, A$AP Rocky, Chance the Rapper, Kehlani and more will perform. The fest is also partnering with the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund, the Equal Justice Initiative, and When We All Vote. More info is available here.

GRAMMY-winning Latin hip-hop artist Mala Rodriguez will perform live from Spain during SummerStage’s Anywhere Session on their Instagram page at 5 p.m. ET. A DJ set from La Mega will precede the performance at 4:30 p.m. ET.



If you’re in NYC, the following spots have opened to the public:

-Prospect Park Zoo (Brooklyn)

-Bronx Zoo (the Bronx)

-New York Botanical Garden (the Bronx)

Please make sure that you are adhering to proper social distancing protocol if you are going to the zoos in the Big Apple.




The Chicago Blues Festival will be held virtually this year and kicks off at 6 p.m. CT. with Mike Wheeler and Guy King. The event will take place during the entire weekend, and will feature Melody Angel and John Primer ​on Saturday, and Ivy Ford and Toronzo Cannon on Sunday.


More info can be found here.

Streaming Services

Beyoncé’s visual album Black Is King will be available on Disney+ at midnight. It will feature music from the 2019 Bey-curated soundtrack, The Lion King: The Gift, which features artists such as JAY-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Wizkid, Shatta Wale, Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage and more.



Cultural Conversations

The 100th birthday of jazz musician Charlie Parker will be commemorated throughout the month with performances that can be viewed on SummerStage’s Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitch pages. On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, a culture talk featuring Executive Artistic Director of SummerStage Erika Elliott and Charlie Parker Jazz Festival founder and producer Sam Turvey will take place. It will be moderated by jazz drummer and composer Jerome Jennings.



Ham4Change will unite members of the original cast of the Broadway and cultural sensation Hamilton for a special performance benefitting Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM), the Black AIDS Institute, Law Enforcement Accountability Project and When We All Vote. It will stream on the Looped app.


The event will take place on August 1, August 9 and August 15, and will begin at 1 p.m. ET. Tickets to watch are $10.75, with optional VIP experiences available. More information can be found here.


Corrected: Thursday, 7/30/20 at 4:30 p.m.: An earlier version of this article listed the New York Aquarium in Brooklyn among potential destinations to visit this weekend. Unfortunately, we’ve since been informed by the New York Aquarium that their reopening has been postponed due to continuing restrictions on indoor attractions and museums (a last-minute change by city and state governments). We’ve omitted the aquarium from the article to reflect that change.

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Aquarium is still closed as it is indoors & reopening was postponed.  Zoo is open though!