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Summer, Summer, Summertime: Black Music Month x Roots Picnic 🧺✨

Image is of Teryn sitting on a picnic blanket.

I grew up attending festivals, concerts, and all things Black Arts. My mommy always made sure to put me in these spaces where I could see other people who loved to dance and sing and wear costumes (LOL). It was in these spaces that I saw what it looked like to be authentically you, to be bold and audacious, and to share your voice and crafts with the world. For years, these spaces of Black creativity and Black love, shaped and continue to shape who I am as a creative and a community leader and servant.

I kicked off Black Music Month and Pride at Roots Picnic in Philadelphia! It was so much fun to take a moment away from the day-to-day routine and to fully immerse myself in Black music, foods, and people. Almost a year ago, I moved to the East Coast. I didn't really know anyone in my new city, and it was pretty white and a little old school, and while I am building my community, sometimes I just need to feel and be around people who look like me, get the same references and jokes as me, and most importantly, love the same music as me.

Over the two day weekend, I saw artsists from Sexyy Red to Smino, to Andre 3000 and his flute to Marsha Ambrosius and Jill Scott, literally to just name a few. Roots Picnic was Black af, from the DJ sets to the vibes and community built within our own little picnic areas.

Image is of Teryn wearing a cheetah print two-piece set.

Day 1! Let's talk parking. There is parking on-site and it is free, however you do want to strategize a bit for your time of arrival so that you can have time to scope out the scene (lol), send yourself your location of your car, etc.

Next, get ready to head on in to the festival, there were lines to go through security which consisted of metal detectors and search of bags + blankets. The process was smooth, shoutout to the venue staff who worked those two days.

Once you're in, you'll want to secure a spot. The first day, we opted for a space near a screen, a bar, and the restrooms. It was nice. Then of course, once you set up your picnic spot, you'll want to grab some food (at the many many options of food to include plant-based options), and of course something to sip on and water, which was sponsored by Liquid Death (10/10). All the while, performers are taking the stage, an on-goining fashion show is happening (iykyk), and you get to enjoy the music and people all around you for the same purpose. There were several stages, one main stage, another pretty large stage, and a live podcast stage. Now, I must admit that it was a nice hike to get to the second stage, which really had some of my favorite artists, however, after getting all of my steps in for the day, chile, I did the best I could with what I had. Some of my favorite acts from Day 1 was Marsha Ambrosius, Redman and Method Man, NewYorkLA, Smino, Sexyy Red, and the fabulous, Jill Scott. Day 1 of Roots Picnic was awesome, 10/10.

Image is of Teryn in a photo booth by When We All Vote

Day 2! Whew, y'all, I had to stretch and apply extra sunscreen for Day 2. I also made sure to hydrate, because you're walking, dancing, and sweating, because #summertime and good vibes. ✨Once we parked (got an even better parking spot than on Day 1, count all the wins), went through security, and made our way into the festival grounds for the day, it was artist after artist! The lineup was good y'all! I saw (well, some I was too tired to make it to the stage, but had every intention and am living off the fact that we were at the same function🤗) Babyface, Shaboozey, Fantasia, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Wale, Andre 3000 and his flute, Amerie, Lloyd, Gunna and Lil Wayne, just to name a few!

Festivals and Black ass spaces always remind me to be intentional about creating spaces of joy and community, and even more intentional about putting myself in those spaces. I was really nervous about my first Roots Picnic experience, because I thought that I would have to go solo, but a new friend of mine made the experience so much fun and we nerded out over different artists over the course of the weekend. One of our favorite performances was Sexyy Red, she literally captured the entire crowd. There was some controversy around her "Make America Sexyy Again" marketing, but honestly, *shrugs*, there are some other things in the entertainment that could use some backfiring around, but I digress. ☕️

Roots Picnic was an awesome experience! What are some of your favorite summer festivals? Let me know in the comments.

Cheers to the Summer, 🥂

Image is text that reads "teryn denae" with red lips


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