The Global Citizen Festival, held in New York City’s Central Park, has proven to be one of the biggest events this month of September has to offer. We know NYC has fun things for residents to do every weekend, every month… but Global Citizen is easily recognizable as one of the “Big Ones” not to miss.
This special festival was started in 2012 as an annual event organized by the Global Poverty Project, created to help end extreme poverty around the world.
This past weekend, on Saturday September 23rd, the main event took place, headlining Stevie Wonder, Green Day, The Killers, The Lumineers and The Chainsmokers, with extra special performances by Pharrell Williams, Andra Day, Alessia Cara and Big Sean. There were also numerous speakers from around the world – Hugh Jackman, Jane Goodall and Whoopi Goldberg to name a few – presenting on behalf of the festival’s cause, trying to gain awareness and support for their mission.
Throughout the concert, musicians, politicians, actors and activists came together to shout out a message through music: one that promotes hope and solidarity for those in need. While the messages weren’t all aimed specifically at promoting a dump Trump ideal, several presenters took their spotlight at a chance to showcase these feelings of resentment for what is going on in America, including Senator Chuck Schumer announcing that “We’ll continue to have the Statue of Liberty as our symbol, not that damn wall!” as the crowd responded in cheers.
Turning to the music being the main focus of the night, most artists catered to the crowd, giving them the big hits from over the years. Green day focused mainly on their older, well-known songs from 2004 album American Idiot, letting their music spill into the hearts and souls of the audience. Stevie Wonder, being the last performer of the night, brought us back to those rocking hits we’ve always loved – “Sir Duke,” “Superstition,” “Higher Ground” – before being joined on stage by Pharrell Williams for a whirl at “We Are The World”, “Get Lucky” (Daft Punk) and Williams’s own “Happy”.
During this iconic performance, Stevie took a moment to show his support of the NFL players and their protest of the U.S. National anthem, by taking a knee in solidarity. It was, without a doubt, a night to remember.