Global Citizen Festival Rocks Central Park Lawn

Musicians and celebrities came out in droves for Global Citizens Festival, all with the goal of ending extreme global poverty by the year 2030. In its third year, over 50,000 fans earned tickets by collecting "points" on the Global Citizen's website. Points are earned by watching and sharing videos, signing petitions, and reading articles about a variety of global issues.

EDM super-star Tiesto kicked off the festival, playing a set full of hits to a mostly empty Great Lawn in Central Park. Backed-up entry lines along the west side of the park caused many fans to miss some, if not all, of Tiesto's 30 minute set. The Roots delivered their neo-soul jams as the lawn began to slowly but surely fill up with fans. Alicia Key's used a surprise appearance to debut a new song with both Palestinian and Israeli singers, pounding away on a piano as she crooned for world peace. Pop-rockers fun. played an energetic set book-ended by hits with the entire crowd singing along. Carrie Underwood was fierce and passionate as she delivered hit after hit, stopping to note how massive the crowd became as the sun went down. No Doubt entertained the crowd with their ska-pop blend, ending their set with a cover of Message in a Bottle featuring none other than Sting himself in a surprise appearance.

After five hours of music, political and humanitarian speeches and various celebrity experiences, the crowd was restless for Jay Z to preform, breaking out into chants of "Hova, Hova, Hova," multiple times in the thirty minute wait before his set. The Brooklyn native exploded onto the stage with all 50,000+ attendees screaming along to every word of "Empire State of Mind." Giving the editor responsible for censoring the live-broadcast a real dozy, Jay Z flawlessly preformed his hits, including "N****s in Paris," "F***WithMeYouKnowIGotIt," and profanity laced "Clique."

After "Public Service Announcement," the stage went dark, and the Jumbo Trons displayed a befuddled emcee, unsure of how to proceed. Suddenly the lights went up and Queen Bee herself, Beyonce, thundered onto the stage, eliciting screams that could only be rivaled by One Direction fans.  She joined her husband on the pumped-up "Holy Grail," and together, they closed the six hour festival to "Young Forever," with the entire Great Lawn lit-up by the glow of cell-phone flashlights, the couple provided a surprisingly sweet end to a tireless event.

Perhaps more impressive than the extravagant musical sets were the dizzying monetary and motivational pledges made by foreign and domestic leaders.  Erna Solberg, prime minister of Norway, promised to devote $1.6 billion- yes, billion- dollars over the next six years to impoverished countries. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed his vow to provide working toilets to all of Indian's citizens by the year 2019, and  President Obama contributed a pre-recorded message encouraging United States citizens to make a difference. Even Sesame Street's Elmo got in on the action, reminding the crowd the importance toilets play in a nations state of sanitation.

Despite the heavy focus on the concert's charitable goal, many attendee's chatted with friends during the speeches given by celebrities, activists, and global world leaders, including the United Nations Secretary-General and Princess of Iceland. All attendees had to do to earn tickets was watch and share videos online, something that has become known as "clicktavism." Tickets for the event could not be bought and donations were not solicited directly at any point, so although all of the talent donated their time, the festival raised a grand total of $0 towards its ambitious goal. Over all, Global Citizens Festival was an exciting, globally conscious way to spend a great day.