According to LiveNation, the 2023 Roots Picnic featured the “most dynamic lineup yet” as The Roots, Usher, Lauryn Hill, The Fugees, and more took over Philadelphia’s The Mann at Fairmount Park on June 3-4.
The weekend commenced on Friday (June 2) with a special joint set from Dave Chappelle and The Roots at the Wells Fargo Center. Following the conclusion of the comedy show and musical performance, it was announced that Jon Stewart would host a bonus set.
The next night, Lauryn Hill celebrated the 25th anniversary of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill with a historic, closing set that included a surprise Fugees reunion with former bandmates, Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel. This may be the trio’s last performance as a group since Michel is facing 20 years in prison amid the guilty verdict in his federal conspiracy case.
Questlove spoke on the reunion via Instagram. “@MsLaurynHill did us a solid by not only letting us celebrate with her the classic #MiseducationOfLaurynHill but she also made a moment by bringing together her bredren @WyclefJean & @PrasMichel ……in what could possibly be one of the last times we will see this institution together in this setting. I’m giving all the gratitude for making this miracle of a night happen,” wrote the Oscar winner.
Usher, once again, entranced fans with a mini version of his explosive Las Vegas residency, alongside special guests Eve, Jazmine Sullivan, and Black Thought. The “GLU” crooner replaced Diddy‘s headlining slot, due to unforeseen circumstances. Black Thought added a freestyle to Usher’s 2004 cult classic, “Throwback,” rapping, “One Friday night session, a minor indiscretion/Almost had me like with Usher pulling out a true confession.” Later, Sullivan and Ush shared a fun moment while performing The Roots’ “You Got Me.”
Ari Lennox, Lil Uzi Vert, Busta Rhymes, GloRilla, DVSN, The Isley Brothers, Coco Jones, Mary Mary, Adam Blackstone and of course, the legendary State Property reunion kept fans enthused throughout the two-day festival.
Experiential activations featured an exhibit from renowned artist Al-Baseer Holly, the inaugural Roots Picnic Con, a brunch experience, the Spades Tournament hosted by World Series of Spades creator and comedian Clint Coley, and the podcast stage. Charlamagne Tha God, Off The Record with DJ Akademiks, Don’t Call Me White Girl, Lip Service with Angela Yee, People’s Party with Talib Kweli, and Questlove Supreme all had individual moments to shine, despite low audience turnout for one show.
Check out the full photo recap below.