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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Roots Picnic 2015


So this year I attended my first Roots Picnic, being a newbie to the area I was told it's a must do event. I gathered the troops and we got tickets, hotel rooms and made it happen. The Roots Picnic is the The Roots (a band from philly), ingenious way to stay connected and make money. What better way than to host your own annual concert where your the headliner? This year was the 8th annual event and they teamed up with Erykah Badu to headline. 

Anyone who knows philly, knows they go hard for their artists and they come out to support. The event gets packed early in the day, but it was a little too hot and early for me to be there at the start. My friends and I met up at Jones restaurant nearby for brunch, bottomless bellinis and to park. I advise parking elsewhere and taking uber or lyft to the festival pier. The multi stage event gets crowded pretty early, which makes it difficult to find people you didn't arrive with. 

There are two entrances, depending on what stage you want to be near. One entrance has most of the liquor vendors, the other has the food vendors. You can move freely between both entrances with your ticket, but you must go thru security each time. 

We finally arrived around 3:30 in time to catch Afrika Bambaataa, but we were on the wrong side and once we figured out the logistics it was over. Moving around the roots picnic is not easy because of the volume of people, coupled with the heat. I highly suggest wearing something comfortable and breathable, heels are definitely not needed. You will be on your feet and walking a lot in heavy crowds that care nothing of your toes. 

Honestly around 9pm, I was ready to go but the roots were due at 9:15. I was disappointed The Weekend hadn't performed "Earned it", and  I was wondering if this concert earned my money. Then around 9:30 the roots come out in grand philly form. 
Taking the stage Black Thought revives me and the crowd by asking, "what are you passionate about". They perform "Peace of light" and then "Love of my life" as Miss Erykah Badu comes out on roller skates.
The crowd goes wild for Ms. Badu as she remind a us all who she is, as she entrances us with her melodic flow. Even if you aren't the biggest fan, you found yourself singing along to "On and On". Then just as you get your groove, out comes Afrika Bambaataa for a cameo, followed by YG singing his hit "My N*%#%". Before you know it,Black Thought introduces Freeway and the crowd sings "it's freeway in the place to be seen and I got what it takes to roc the mic right" So now the crowds hyped off Freeway, and Black Thought brings out the Lox singing " All about the Benjamin's". 

It's like a baseball game, the crowds going wild and they calm us down with some more Erykah Badu. Ms. Badu sings more hits and just when we think it's over, out comes The Weekend to sing "Earned it". At that moment, I knew I would never miss another roots picnic if I could help it. It was already 10:30 and they had given me my life, taken it away and given it back.

The Roots and Erykah Badu team up to do "love of my life", then we hear "Green eyes" and one last song I don't know and it's finally over. I left hoarse, tired, and hot but it was all very worth it. The end of the show was an amazing hour and a half long ride down memory lane. The Roots put on an amazing show that made you forget about the troubles of the day. 

Overall I give this event a 9/10, only because I wish the venue was larger. The heat is up to Mother Nature and the roots can't predict that, but the music from the different acts on stages so close did make things confusing. If your visiting philly, live near or in philly and want something to do I say go for it. Be sure to check in mid March , because I believe early bird tickets go on sale late March. Buying tickets early, saves you about half the cost. Hope to see you next year!

Peace, love and positivity!
Amira 

Photos courtesy of The Roots picnic 
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