UPDATE: Common and Tori Kelly have been added to the performers’ list at the upcoming festival, while Usher, Katie Holmes, Laverne Cox and Connie Britton have joined the festival’s Host Committee.
The fourth annual Global Citizen Festival will feature performances by Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay. The benefit concert, whose goal is to raise awareness of the United Nations’ measures to fight inequality, protect the earth and end extreme poverty by 2030, will take place on the Great Lawn of New York City’s Central Park on September 26th.
As with previous years, tickets to the concert are free to people who visit Global Citizen’s website and earn their admission through “action.” Organizers are asking fans to call the U.S. State Department to urge them to allocate 50 percent of U.S. foreign aid budget for the eradication of extreme poverty. After carrying out a number of “actions,” a fan then would “win” a ticket. Those who cannot attend the show will be able to stream it live on TV and on MSNBC’s website, as well as on YouTube.
“We hope Pearl Jam fans will sign up to become Global Citizens – not just to earn tickets to the show – but to be part of a movement that encourages leaders of nations with the greatest wealth to apply aid, trade and governance policies in support of nations and communities in the greatest need,” Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard said in a statement. “People living on less $1.50-a-day deserve the opportunity to lift themselves up out of extreme poverty.”
“I am honored to be a part of the Global Citizen Festival,” said Beyoncé, whose “Chime for Change” campaign is partnering with the festival to help empower young women. “It has always stood for improving the lives of people everywhere, but this year is especially rewarding as we all join focuses and utilize our talents for one goal: to end extreme poverty globally.”
“It’s at once a great honor and very humbling to participate in the Global Citizen Festival,” Sheeran said. “I look forward to sharing the stage with such an amazing lineup of artists in an effort to raise awareness, educate others and work toward the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030. I truly believe it’s possible if we all work together.”
“We are so proud to be playing this year’s Global Citizen Festival,” Coldplay frontman and Global Citizen Festival curator Chris Martin said. “We love the Global Citizen movement and we love opening for Beyoncé so this ticks both boxes.”
Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than $1.25 a day. The UN reports that the number of people living in these conditions dropped in 2010 to less than half of the number of people in 1990; nevertheless it estimates that 1.2 billion people globally live in extreme poverty.
“We are so grateful to the artists who have signed on to perform this year, lending their support to help achieve policy wins on behalf of the world’s poor,” Global Poverty Project CEO Hugh Evans tells Rolling Stone. “For 2015, in addition to ensuring the United Nations’ new Global Goals become famous, we are working to keep heads of state accountable for previous commitments they have made in support of girls and women and increasing access to education, sanitation, clean water and vaccines.”
Since the first Global Citizen Festival in 2012, people have taken more than three million “actions” to fight extreme poverty, according to the organization. These have led to a reported 87 commitments and policy announcements, including $18.3 billion in cash commitments.
Global Citizen announced in February that Chris Martin would produce and curate the festival through 2030. Past performers at the festival have included Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, the Black Keys, Sting and John Legend. Last year’s installment featured performances by Jay Z, No Doubt and Tiësto.