This year marks the 9th Annual "Roots Picnic" music festival in the group's hometown of Philadelphia. However, the band is also bringing the fest here to its adopted city. NY1 Arts and Culture reporter Stephanie Simon filed this TV exclusive preview.
Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter got a good view of Bryant Park from inside the park offices as they have big plans for the space.
"October is going to mark the first annual Roots Picnic New York City,” Trotter says. “This year also is the ninth consecutive year that we’ve been doing the picnic, the Roots Picnic in Philly. So we’re obviously from Philadelphia - as are you, I found out.”
“But we’re kind of honorary New Yorkers because of our job here at the Tonight Show,” Trotter added. “So an opportunity to do something that is going to give back to the community that has embraced us in such a warm, welcoming way is huge."
The Roots Picnic will take place October 1st and 2nd.
"Lineup - number one is kind of like our unofficial soul night,” Thompson said. “Our friends, of course the Roots together with D'Angelo and John Mayer. Night number two is what we like to dub our Love Letter To New York City, and that’ll be the Roots along with David Byrne, formerly of Talking Heads, Nile Rogers of Chic and the entire Wu Tang Clan."
And the picnic in Bryant Park will be different and better than the Philly picnic in at least one way - the greenery.
"Here at Bryant Park we actually have grass,” Trotter said. “It’s actually in a park. For the past nine years, we’ve been having what we call the Roots Picnic on what is essentially a slab of concrete on the festival pier in Philadelphia."
And yes, these music giants turned TV stars are park-goers too.
"Usually after work I walk here and just sit in the park and watch movies usually,” Thompson said.
Tickets start at $99. You can get a two-day pass for $175.
For more information, visit rootspicnic.com.