Global Citizen is putting on one of the biggest musical events of the year – the star-studded concert in New York City will feature Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay with hosts Hugh Jackman, Stephen Colbert and Salma Hayek Pinault, among others. Yet, you can't buy tickets for this festival; instead, prospective concert goers must act to end extreme poverty.
Global Citizen, a platform started by Global Poverty Project, is hosting the fourth annual Global Citizen Festival in New York City on September 26th, at the very same time the United Nations will adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The concert aimed at Millennials and presented in partnership with a host of major brands including Gucci, H&M, Unilever, Google, Citi, MSNBC and more, looks to fight extreme poverty and inequality and act as a "critical lever for achieving policy and financial commitments that will shape the success of the Global Goals over the next 15 years."
To do this, Global Citizen is urging action; for every step or action participants take, they will earn a chance at free tickets to the festival. Each group of activities, called Action Journeys, asks participants to get involved by tweeting, writing emails, signing petitions and even calling policy makers. The Action Journeys have been successful thus far. Forbes reported "a swarm of tweets so overwhelming that it clogged up the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs' account, rendering her unable to tweet back that she will meet the demands to improve sanitation in the country." During the first Action Journey launched on July 9, a White House representative reported the U.S. Department of State received more than 20,000 voicemails asking that more of the foreign aid budget be devoted to the poorest countries. With a new Action Journey posted yesterday and two more to go before the September festival, the momentum around the effort has yet to reach its peak.
Although adding a charity component to a music festival is nothing new, Global Citizen Festival is taking a new approach. Instead of raising funds, the organizers seek to elevate voices, unifying for an amplified message that global leaders simply cannot ignore. As Mick Sheldrick, head of global advocacy, states, "For us, we're not after your money. We're after your voice."