Stars turn out in support for Global Citizen Festival, boosting donations

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Ayse Kelce | The Ticker

Farah Javed, Copy Chief

Hype for the Global Citizen Festival has been unmissable, considering news about the annual event was plastered across billboards and train stations.

With YouTube ads highlighting the star-studded lineup that performed on Sept. 28 in Central Park, the festival enticed people from all over the globe.

The Global Poverty Project has hosted this festival since 2012. It aims to end poverty through multiple streams, such as equalizing education and rights for girls, bringing clean water and sanitary conditions to poverty-stricken areas and feeding those who are malnourished.

This year, the event’s main focus was raising money for the current global crisis to tackle climate change and combat extreme poverty.

“To an onlooker, the festival appeared to be just another concert, but really one message rang loud and clear: the only way to save the planet is to be proactive. ”

As the Global Citizen Festival concisely states, “In 2015, the world promise[d] to achieve the Global Goals — to end extreme poverty, reduce inequality and tackle climate change by 2030 — and yet five years later, we stand on the brink of failure.”

This message is not just for mere citizens, but targets big businesses and governments who have fallen behind in fulfilling these promises too.

Every year, the festival coincides with the U.N. General Assembly, allowing the Global Poverty Project to lobby to more authoritative positions who wield aid necessary to end poverty by 2030.

Queen + Adam Lambert, Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, OneRepublic, H.E.R. and Carole King all performed.

Special guest included French Montana, Ben Platt, Stay Human and Jon Batiste.

The event is usually fronted by celebrity hosts that inform viewers of the line up and information about the causes.

This year Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness hosted the event.

For Gilmore Girls fans, King took the stage to give a nostalgic rendition of the theme song “Where You Lead.”

Keys took an optimistic viewpoint in the impending battle to combat global warming when she reminded attendees, as well as the thousands live streaming, that “there’s nothing we can’t do.”

OneRepublic took a slower, more serious tone as they sang “Secrets” and covered Beyoncé’s “Halo.”

To an onlooker, the festival appeared to be just another concert, but really one message rang loud and clear: the only way to save the planet is to be proactive.

There was no need for all 60,000 attendees to pay hundreds of dollars to score a ticket.

Instead, people received points for performing tasks and earned tickets.

Through the Global Citizen Festival website, participants signed petitions, called their congressmembers and tweeted government officials.

 By participating in enough of these actions, one became eligible to win two tickets to attend the festival. By Sept. 28, over one million people participated.

By the festival’s end, the crowded park and 80 degree weather were overshadowed by the success of the event.

Citibank pledged to donate 50 million meals by 2020.

Norway pledged $228 million to the Global Fund and $56.8 million to Education Cannot Wait, significantly expediting the goal of education for all.

Additionally, the Nigerian States of Lagos and Plateau pledged $175.8 million to instill clean water and sanitation.

Mexico announced it would adopt a feminist foreign policy, becoming the first Latin American country to do so.

Namibia announced it would be the first country to implement the International Labor Organization’s Convention on Violence and Harassment.

All of these pledges are a mere morsel of the impact the festival made towards reaching the 2030 goals.

In a time where the fight for global equality and health seemed to stagnate, the results from this festival are music to everyone’s ears.