Amnesty International will hold its first Human Rights Concert since 1998 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on February 5th. A wide range of artists – including Imagine Dragons, Flaming Lips and Lauryn Hill – will perform at the human rights organization’s event, called Bringing Human Rights Home.
The organization held its first Human Rights concerts in 1986, when U2, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed and more played six shows. It culminated in a grand finale that featured performances by Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, Carlos Santana, Yoko Ono and more performing in addition to the touring artists. Two years later, Amnesty organized a 20-date world tour called Human Rights Now!, which brought Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Sting, Gabriel, Tracy Chapman and Youssou N’Dour to 15 different countries; the final date of the tour, in Buenos Aires, served as the basis for a documentary that HBO broadcast. It also held concerts in 1990 and 1998 with artists ranging from New Kids on the Block to Radiohead. The organization released highlights from all of its concerts last year in a box set titled ¡Released!
“Amnesty’s past concerts have featured some of the greatest artists of our generation and have been catalysts for real, measurable change,” Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds said in a statement about the upcoming Brooklyn concert. “It’s an honor to perform as part of this event and continue the cause of championing human rights around the world.”
Amnesty International USA Executive Director Steven W. Hawkins added that the organization named the concert Bringing Human Rights Home because “the fight for global human rights begins at home.” “This concert is part of an evolving conversation about human rights that grounds the universal struggle for dignity and freedom in the injustices we see every day in our own backyard in the United States,” he said. “We’re bringing back the concerts to show a new generation of activists how to stand up for justice at home and abroad. . . .”
A press release said that the concert would “use technology to connect the music and message in real time from the stage of the Barclays Center to activists across the globe,” though it did not specify how it would do this.
Amnesty’s concerts between 1986 and 1998 attracted over 1.25 million attendees and, according to the press release, assisted in tripling the organization’s membership. It now has more than three million members worldwide.