Arts

Global Citizens Festival Hits the Big Apple

Charity Event Draws Crowd to Raise Funds Against Hunger

By Mallory Scerbo

What does it mean to be a Global Citizen? The name sounds a bit broad and common, and still, there is something about it that begs for a deeper consideration of what it truly means to be a Global Citizen.

On Saturday September 27, hidden amidst the concrete jungle, thousands gathered in Central Park to celebrate their unity in fighting together to end world poverty. Stars from across the board performed and spoke at the festival, all whom shared passionate words concerning what we must do in order to build on a social movement and ensure a better future by ending poverty by the year 2030.

The beauty of becoming a Global Citizen lies not only within the satisfaction you receive from giving back, but in giving back and knowing that you as an individual are appreciated for making a difference.

Hugh Evans, the CEO and Co-founder of the Global Poverty Project, set the tone in 2012 when he premiered the first ever Global Citizen Festival in Central Park. The annual music festival is hosted by World Leaders, global advocates, beloved musicians and actors who are all there in support of a vision to end a worldly issue with as much team power as possible.

The 3rd annual Global Citizens Festival had a line-up chock full of the greatest talent from past and present music eras. Kicking off the show was Tiësto, who set the tone for the rest of the day as his music created a collective 6,000 person dance party.

The second performer was The Late Night Show with Jimmy Fallon’s jazzy blues band, The Roots, who free-styled to some of the best instrumental beats of our time.

FUN hit the stage next, directing their loudest sing-a-long ever and thanking the audience for making their performance the most fulfilling experience to occur thus far in their career.

Typically when fans go to a concert to see their favorite artists, the fans do the praising for whomever it is they paid to see. On the contrary, The Global Citizens Festival was extraordinarily different. The stars of the show were, without any doubt, the audience.

Right before the anticipated main event, Gwen Stefani and her band No Doubt kept the audience alive and elated during their impressive performance. Gwen Stefani and her band of punk rock musicians were joined by the Rock-and-Roll legend, Sting, as they took it back to the late 1970’s with Message In a Bottle.

There were brief intermissions between sets where at one end of the stage Jessica Alba suddenly appeared to share her love for The Global Citizen organization. At her exit, Ryan Reynolds and Olivia Wilde entered from the other end of the stage shocking the audience and heightening the energy to an even greater level.

Hugh Jackman also took to the stage several times throughout the day. In his last appearance, Narenda Modi accompanied him. The Prime Minister of India made it no secret that The Wolverine star is one of his favorite actors, expressing great gratitude for sharing that special moment with one of his Red Carpet icons for a cause they both believe in.

The Global Poverty Project is extremely unique in that it extends beyond the idea of charity, beyond simply signing a check and donating money. Only a select group of 6,000 dedicated citizens were able to attend the show, not by purchasing tickets, but by actively helping the movement raise awareness by sharing the knowledge about poverty. Not many charities host events in which you do not have to sign up, or pay a donation fee in order to participate.

New York’s own Jay Z concluded the festival with a concert that was unforgettable. During his epic performance of “New York” Jay Z stopped rapping, and let the audience continue for him. Jay Z then closed the show by bringing out Beyoncé to sing a couple of last songs together to end the night.

Although, this year’s Global Citizen Festival has come and gone, Global Citizens never stop working towards justice for those less fortunate. The organization has monthly events, concerts, and smaller musical festivals throughout the year all over the grid to raise as much awareness as possible on the topic of global poverty with information on how to take action.

To learn more about the program their information is on globalcitizen.org where people can get involved, win tickets, and get noticed for fighting for a better future.

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