Photo Credit: Ed Newton

Photo Credit: Ed Newton

Music festivals are a beast that you cannot tame. You can prepare for them, learn from previous ones, and bring as many friends as you want, but there will always be those X factors: live nature of artists’ performances, other festival goers, the line for the bathroom, food, weather, and too many more to list. But as with any risk, there are the rewards. And at the 2015 Roots Picnic, the rewards greatly outweighed any imaginable drawbacks. The lineup was composed of artists from multiple genres. But with the Roots involved, namely Questlove, what else would you expect?

Here’s a rundown of some stats:

-3 stages (2 of which were facing opposite each other-they alternated acts)
-One large tent for shade for General Admission and a couple VIP tents (it was about 87° F with a few clouds AKA Tanline City)
-Free water refill station
-$11-13 beers (who eats at these things?)
– ~9 selfie sticks seen
-little to no activities between sets other than selfie watching
-a lot of people who took “picnic” literally and brought blankets to sit on, the majority of the day in prime standing area for the main stage
-YG, Freeway, LOX, and The Weeknd performed with The Roots
-Erykah Badu floated on and off stage with a segway like contraption without the control bar

Photo Credit: Dan Sozanski

Photo Credit: Dan Sozanski

Below is a short recap of the acts we saw as well as galleries of pictures of the respective acts:

Photo Credit: Ed Newton

Photo Credit: Ed Newton

Fortunately and unfortunately, the lineups for the three stages had great acts from the start, forcing the passionate ones to stay on their feet for about 10 hours. The first one my crew saw was Donn T. A bit older than the average age of the artists I had planned to see, Donn T was still just as capitvating. Her airy, white dress, live band, and backup singers added to the soulful atmosphere set by her music. Next, was Bishop Nehru.

Photo Credit: Dan Sozanski

Photo Credit: Dan Sozanski

The Unsigned Hype alum was joined by Hot 97’s DJ Juanyto and came equipped with his smooth flows. After shouting out The Roots and Erykah as inspiration growing up, he went from older material into newer releases. He ended with an acapella verse that won over the sizable crowd that gathered around. But I couldn’t get too deep into that crowd as Rae Sremmurd were getting ready to turn the picnic upside down. Swae Lee (somehow rocking jeans and a Kansas Jayhawks sweater) and Slim Jimmy (appropriately not wearing a shirt with shorts) shared some advice with the fans in the form of a story, between “No Type” and “Throw Sum Mo”: “Our mom told us, ‘You have to be the illest.'” It was essentially the commencement speech every recent graduate wanted to hear.

Photo Credit: Ed Newton

Photo Credit: Ed Newton

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