Philly 360° Music Guide: Get To Know The Lineup For The 8th Annual Roots Picnic

Questlove holding things down on the drums at the Roots Picnic
Questlove holding things down on the drums at the Roots Picnic (M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia)

The 8th annual Roots Picnic is right around the corner — taking over Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing on Saturday, May 30. And, we can’t let you show up to the festival without giving you all of the must-know info on the amazing array of artists that will perform this year.

The unofficial kick-off to the summer music festival season in Philadelphia, Roots Picnic 2015 features an eclectic mix of talent including Erykah Badu, Haitus Kaiyote and Philly’s own King Britt, Donn T, and Brianna Cash. Consider this the perfect opportunity to curate your playlist for the summer. 

Take a look at the below guide to this year’s Roots Picnic headliners. Also, be sure to enter our Roots Picnic Giveaway for a chance to win a pair of tickets courtesy of Philly 360° and Visit Philly.

The 8th Annual Roots Picnic
When: Saturday, May 30
Where: Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard & Spring Garden Street
Cost: $99
More Info: or win tickets tickets here

Marc E. Bassy – Fresh off the release of his East Hollywood EP, the former 2AM Club band member is emerging quickly as a solo artist. Blurring the lines between R&B and rap, his sound is refreshing and at a moment’s notice Bassy will switch up his flow from soulful crooning to dropping rhythmic rap bars.

Donn T – A singer/songwriter with the bloodline of one of the most knowledgeable musicians of our time, Donn T is a phenomenal artists with a sound that will keep you guessing. Her versatile sound has landed her on stages with Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, Marsha Ambrosius, Zap Mama and more. Her highly anticipated full length album, Flight of Donn T was released in April.

Moses Sumney – The guitarist and vocalist sites one of his favorite performances at Sofar Sounds as one of his favorites with fans simply sitting around like a campfire to listen to Sumney and Karen O of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. The indie-rock singer has also shared stages with Beck and David Longstreth of Dirty Projects, just to name a few.

Brianna Cash – Singer/Songwriter, Brianna Cash doesn’t need much more than her voice and guitar to captivate an audience with her heartfelt lyrics and rebellious tone. The up and coming Philly artist has been working continuously on stages across the area and this may just be her biggest yet.

Raury – Just 18-years old, Raury has no issue in standing out among a sea of the same when it comes to his music. It’s political, it’s rooted in folk and Americana and it’s really dope. Fielding comparisons to an early Andre 3000, it’s clear to see that Raury is carving out a lane of his own by simply being himself and spreading a message of love.

King Britt – Britt’s work as a composer, producer, and remixer has garnered him much critical acclaim as well as a Pew Fellowship for composition in 2007. His work has taken him to stages across the world and his latest album, The Phoenix, is being released on Hyperdub.

Bishop Nehru – Another talented artist at just 18-years-old has already worked with two of his musical influences including Nas and MF Doom who will produce his debut full-length album. The hip hop emcee/producer is dropping tons of music including his NehruvianDOOM project alongside Doom.

Hudson Mohawke – A music producer and award winning scratch DJ from the UK, it was his work in 2012 that pushed “Hud Mo” into the forefront of the American musical landscape. He has worked on releases from Young Thug, Kanye West, Pusha T, and more.

DJ Windows 98 (Win Butler of Arcade Fire) – Member of the GRAMMY award winning band, Arcade Fire, Win Butler has picked up the turntables under the guise of Windows 98. He brings a bit of nostalgia to the popular performance DJ world.

Chronixx (And The Zincfence Redemption) – A reggae artist and musician, Chronixx released his first EP in 2010, Hooked on Chronixx, which put him on the industry radar. By 2014 his work on The Dread & Terrible Project earned him top spots on both the billboard and iTunes Reggae charts.

Rae Sremmurd – The hip hop duo is signed as one of the first acts on top selling producer, Mike Will Made It’s Ear Drummer Records. From humble beginnings, the two taught themselves production, DJing and performing and the hard work is paying off.  

Hiatus Kaiyote – The GRAMMY-nominated group hails all the way from Melbourne, Australia. Haitus Kaiyote is a soul quartet that gained critical acclaim from their song “Nakamarra” with Q-Tip.

DJ Mustard – In the midst of a radio takeover as a producer, you can’t turn on the radio without hearing “Mustard on the Beat.” His work with acts like Chris Brown, Omarion, Ty Dolla Sign, and many more has created its own movement in today’s music scene. This time around we get to hear him rock his tunes among others as a DJ.

Phantogram – The electronic rock duo consists of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel. Influenced by everything from The Beatles to J. Dilla, they describe their sound as street beat, psych pop.

ASAP Rocky – The fashion forward, East Coast emcee is has brought his smooth Harlem style and versatile flow to the forefront of the music industry. His ASAP Mob is a movement within itself and the rapper was recently named Rap’s New Rock Star by Billboard.

Erykah Badu – The soulful songstress makes her return to Philly in a big way backed by The Roots for what we are sure will be an epic performance. Rising to superstar status in the late 90s and 2000s, Ms. Badu has become an iconic figure in soul music.

The Weeknd – In a rare Philly performance the pop/R&B Crooner will of course hit the state. His music is honest and full of raw emotion. His most recent release “Earned It” was featured in the promo for the highly anticipated “50 Shades of Grey” film and has dominated radio.

The Roots – The incomparable Roots Crew of course always take the stage. Not only will they be backing Erykah Badu but we can always count on them taking on their own musical set.


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