By Melony Roy

Now in its seventh year, The Roots Picnic is a one-of-a-kind, genre-bending festival that showcases the latest and greatest artists of today’s music scene. In 2014, Festival Pier on Delaware Avenue will once again host the annual picnic on May 31st.

The 2014 picnic will feature performances from The Roots, Snoop Dogg, Janelle Monaé, Action Bronson, War On Drugs, A$AP Ferg, araabMUZIK, Jhené Aiko, Rudimental, Just Blaze, Bad Rabbits, Biz Markie (on the 1s and 2s), Roman Gianarthur, Chill Moody, Emily Wells, Electric Wire Hustle.

The legendary Roots crew was formed in Philadelphia in 1987 by Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson. This multiple Grammy-winning, hip-hop, neo-soul group was once underground, performing on the streets and in clubs.

Many members of the band have come and gone, but today the Roots consists of Black thought (MC), ?uestlove (drums), Kamal Gray (keyboardist), F. Knuckles (percussionist), Captain Kirk Douglas (guitarist), Owen Biddle (bassist), and James Poyser (keyboardist).

Since their first independent album release, The Roots have dropped 10 studio albums, two EPs, two collaboration albums and have collaborated with various artists that span multiple genres such as John Legend, Roy Ayers, Marsha Ambrosious, Jill Scott, Cody Chestnut and Erykah Badu. The Roots have also served as the house band on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” since its premiere in 2009.

Previous performers at the Roots Picnic have included Nas, Wiz Khalifa, Esperanza Spaulding, Mac Miller, John Legend, the Wu Tang Clan, Santigold, Mayer Hawthorne, Das Racist, Public Enemy, TV on the Radio, Kid Cudi, The Black Keys, and Vampire Weekend.

Tickets for the Roots Picnic are on sale now. – Melony Roy

Insider Tips:

– For general questions, call (856)-365-1300 or visit
– The Roots Picnic begins at noon.
– Doors open one hour before show time.
– The Roots open the festival with a mini set.
– Shows are rain or shine.
– No cameras, recording devices, umbrellas, or chairs are permitted.
– Food, beer, t-shirts, and art will be sold throughout the day.
– Vendors do not accept credit cards or personal checks, so bring cash.
– There is an ATM.
– A valid ID is needed to pick up tickets at “will call” and to purchase alcohol.
– The second stage is located in an air-conditioned tent.
– Once you leave, you cannot come back.


By Car:

– From I-95 North use Exit 20., Columbus Blvd/Washington Ave exit and turn left onto Columbus Blvd. Proceed north on Columbus Blvd. Parking is available at Festival Pier.

– From the Schuylkill Expressway, take I676 east to I-95 south exit 23, and then follow above directions for exit I-95.

On Foot:

From the Historic District and Old City, head east on Market, Chestnut, Walnut or South Streets, crossing Front Street and over pedestrian walkways. Head north on Columbus Blvd (From South Street: 1.5 miles/Dock Street – 1.1mi/Walnut Street – 1 mi./Chestnut Street – 1/10th mi./Market Street – 1/10th mi).

Public Transportation:

By Bus:

Take Septa’s bus routes 25 or 43 directly to Festival Pier. Bus route 5 stops at 2nd and Spring Garden Streets. From there, head east towards Columbus Blvd. Festival will be to the left.

By Rail:

Making the free interchange connection generated from many points at the 15th Street Station, take the Market-Frankford Elevated line (blue-line) to the Spring Garden station. Walk east towards Columbus Blvd . Festival Pier will be to the right. For more information on mass transit call Septa ( 215) 580-7800.

By Philadelphia Trolley Works:

Climb aboard Philly’s Victorian-style trolleys for a 90 minute narrated tour and enjoy the treasured sites of Phila. Visit Olde City, Society Hill, Fairmount Park, Independence National Historic Park, and Penn’s Landing. For our courtesy shuttles, advance ticket sales, and more details, call 215 925 TOUR.


Everything is within walking distance at Penn’s Landing.

– Festival Pier: Spring Garden and Columbus Boulevard. This lot serves the events on Festival Pier and Cavanaugh’s River Deck. This parking lot has 300 spaces. Cost $20.00.

– Pier 24 parking lot: Columbus Boulevard adjacent to Cavanaugh’s River Deck. This lot serves the events at Festival Pier, Cavanaugh’s River Deck, and Dave & Buster’s. This parking lot has 120 spaces.

– Vine Street parking lot: This is located at Columbus Boulevard and Vine Street, directly across the street from Dave & Buster’s. This parking lot has 280 spaces. There is no tailgating permitted in the Vine Street lot. Cost $20.00.

– Penn’s Landing’s Market & Walnut Street parking lots: Located on Columbus Boulevard at Market & Walnut Streets, the Market Street parking lot has 400 spaces and the parking lot at Walnut Street has 220 spaces. Cost $17.00.

– South Street pedestrian bridge parking lot is located at Columbus Boulevard at the foot of the South Street Pedestrian Bridge, and has 400 spaces.