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Global Citizen Festival: Music for a Cause

Held in Central Park, the Global Citizen Festival brought people together on September 23rd through the unifying power of music. In its fourth year in New York, the festival’s goal remains the same: to raise awareness about global issues. With powerful speakers and some of the biggest performers in the music industry, the festival was well worth the trip to the Big Apple.

On a ninety degree day in September, you would not think that so many people would be willing to stand in direct sunlight for multiple hours, squished uncomfortably close to people they have never met. But the Global Citizen organizers and attendees are motivated by a greater cause: to end extreme poverty and injustice around the world.

Tickets to this event are free, making this an affordable outing for college students. While the tickets do not deplete your savings account, you do have to earn your way into the show. Through tweets that raise awareness about gender equality, to calls to local representatives about education, Global Citizen makes sure that each member of its audience deserves to be there. So not only are the tickets free, but they come with the sense of pride in knowing that you made a difference!

The festival always gets major artists to perform at the show. In past years there have been appearances by Rihanna and Beyoncé. This year’s lineup included a long list of all-stars, including The Killers, The Lumineers, The Chainsmokers, and Stevie Wonder, among many others. All of the performances were fantastic, and the crowd was full of energy and excitement despite the extreme heat. MSNBC even handed out free water to the crowd to keep everyone hydrated.

From Jane Goodall’s speech empowering both animals and humans, to slam poets and state and world leaders, the diversity of causes and people showed that this was truly an event with a global reach. Informative videos explained the importance of foreign aid, sanitation in developing nations, and the right to education for all. Many politically charged statements were made, including one from New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who said, “Let the Statue of Liberty be our symbol, not that damned wall!”

The Global Citizen Festival is much more than a concert. The music brings people in, but the powerful messages allow the audience to leave the concert with a new sense of understanding about world issues and how each individual can spark a change.


If you missed the festival but have become inspired to take action, click here! With views of New York City from the park and great music, this event seriously cannot be missed!

Jill is a Sophomore at Boston University. She is studying journalism and enjoys listening to music, yoga, traveling, and any activity that involves food!
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