It’s uncommon to really feel proper at house throughout music festival season when hundreds of strangers encompass you. But for the first time since 2019, Roots Picnic gathered upward of 60,000 music-lovers in particular person to get pleasure from what felt like a traditional household reunion.

Philadelphia has all the time been like a second house to me, so strolling into Fairmount Park over the weekend felt like homecoming season, working into acquainted faces and assembly loads of new ones. The power on the pageant grounds was noticeably heat — and never simply due to the 80-plus-degree warmth. As a first-time attendee, I wasn’t fairly certain what to anticipate from Roots Picnic, however an elder, who jogged my memory of considered one of my uncles, provided a easy abstract as we walked by the gate. “Just hearken to some music and chill,” I overheard him inform a couple in entrance of us — and that is precisely what I did.

“. . . it is simply a lot of perks being right here.”

For the lengthy two-day occasion, I switched backwards and forwards between the TD Pavilion and Toyota Soundstage (as a lot as my endurance allowed in the intense solar) and chilled as I so aked in the musical expertise. It’s not day-after-day you get to see a lineup as stacked as the Roots Picnic’s — which included of us like Jazmine Sullivan

, Mary J. Blige, Summer Walker, WizKid, and The Roots, to call a few. As excited as I used to be to see these headliners grace the stage, the different Roots Picnic performers had been simply as desirous to placed on a nice present for his or her followers, too.

“When I let you know I went all out, as far out as I might, as a result of that is a actually good look,” singer Durand Bernarr instructed POPSUGAR forward of his Sunday set. “It’s a nice alternative. To share the stage with all these different gifted individuals, and a few of them are my homies, it is simply a lot of perks being right here.”

Despite a few hiccups this weekend (e.g., very delayed units, sound points, extraordinarily lengthy strains, and last-minute schedule modifications), everybody ought to expertise Roots Picnic a minimum of as soon as of their lifetime. I’ve by no means been to a music occasion that felt so welcoming, so culturally sound, and, frankly, so Black; individuals young and old laughed and danced collectively at the Mann Center for the first time since the pandemic pause. It felt good to have fun the tradition stay and in particular person with my neighborhood — the City of Brotherly Love positively confirmed out.

The technical difficulties, although inconvenient at the second, felt small in comparison with what I walked away with. I left Roots Picnic with a full spirit nourished by the vibes the performers poured into the lively crowd. The pageant made music the coronary heart and soul of the weekend-long occasion this yr, because it ought to’ve been. I hope that by no means modifications as a result of the finish outcomes are really unmatched.

Keep studying for standout moments from Roots Picnic 2022.

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