The Roots Picnic, which was supposed to be held in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park on June 3, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the 13th annual celebration is going to be livestreamed via YouTube on June 27, and it will be co-hosted by none other than Michelle Obama. She and her nonpartisan organization When We All Vote is partnering with the event.
Among the entertainers who will perform at this year’s virtual event include H.E.R., SZA, Kirk Franklin, Roddy Ricch, Lil Baby, Snoh Aalegra and D-Nic. Kerry Washington, Tom Hanks, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul and Lin-Manuel Miranda are also scheduled to make appearances, and prerecorded messages from “musicians, athletes and influencers” will also play during the show.
The Roots’ Questlove and Black Thought are co-hosting alongside Obama, and through the event, they’re hoping to reach a goal of 500,000 eligible voters or more through Outvote, an organizing platform aiming to reach unregistered voters.
“Historically, Questlove and Black Thought have always been very active participants in the voting process,” Shawn Gee, Roots manager and President of Live Nation Urban, said in a statement obtained by Billboard. “However, I felt that it was imperative that this year I open up both The Roots and my Live Nation Urban platforms for 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,” he continues. “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.”