Watch Global Citizen Festival
- 6 Seasons
On September 26, 2015, Central Park in New York City was host to the fifth annual Global Citizen Festival, a music event aimed to raise awareness and fight extreme poverty. MSNBC was one of the networks that broadcasted the festival, which gathered around 60,000 people in the park and millions more around the world tuning in online to watch and engage.
The festival was organized by Global Citizen, a movement that seeks to end extreme poverty by 2030 and tackle other global issues such as climate change, gender equality, and access to education and healthcare. The organization relies on advocacy and activism to put pressure on world leaders to take action and make commitments towards these goals. Through a combination of online activism, petitioning, and in-person actions at events like the Global Citizen Festival, the movement has been able to secure several commitments from governments, corporations, and philanthropists to invest in programs that fight poverty and inequality.
The festival featured a diverse lineup of artists and entertainers from different genres and backgrounds, all of them sharing the stage with Global Citizen ambassadors and representatives of the organization. Some of the headliners of the 2015 festival included Beyoncé, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Pearl Jam, and Ariana Grande, among others. Each performer was introduced by a Global Citizen representative, who shared some statistics and facts about the issue that the organization was trying to address with the song or performance.
For example, during Ed Sheeran's set, his song "I See Fire" was dedicated to the UN's goal of achieving universal education by 2030. The Global Citizen representative reminded the audience that 60 million children around the world do not have access to education and that the lack of education exacerbates poverty and other social problems. Ed Sheeran then urged his fans to take action and support education programs around the world by signing Global Citizen petitions or donating to partner organizations.
Similarly, when Beyoncé took the stage, her performance was a tribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to combat climate change, inequality, and other global issues. During her set, the screens at the festival showed messages from Global Citizens around the world, sharing their own commitments to help achieve the SDGs. Beyoncé also spoke about her own philanthropic efforts, particularly her work with the Chime for Change campaign, which seeks to empower girls and women around the world.
Aside from the musical acts, the festival also included speeches and appearances from high-profile activists, politicians, and celebrities who support the Global Citizen movement. For example, Pope Francis gave a video message where he urged world leaders to act on climate change and to protect the environment as a way to preserve the "common home" of humanity.
Other speakers included UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, First Lady Michelle Obama, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Hugh Jackman, among others. Each speaker addressed a different issue related to the Global Citizen mission, such as access to clean water, gender equality, and ending extreme poverty.
The festival was not just a spectacle, but also served as a platform for Global Citizen to showcase its achievements and to mobilize more people towards its cause. Throughout the event, attendees and online viewers were encouraged to take specific actions, such as signing petitions or tweeting messages, in order to gain points that could be redeemed for rewards such as tickets to other concerts or experiences. Many of these actions were related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but some were specific to local issues, such as ending forced labor in Uzbekistan or supporting refugees in Jordan.
As a media partner, MSNBC provided coverage and analysis of the festival throughout the day, highlighting the key moments and messages from the event. The network also aired exclusive interviews with some of the performers and organizers, as well as segments about the impact of Global Citizen's activism over the years.
Overall, the 2015 Global Citizen Festival was a highly successful event that brought together artists, activists, and audiences around a common mission. Through the power of music, speeches, and collective action, the festival was able to raise awareness and funds towards ending extreme poverty and other global issues. It also showcased the potential of using advocacy and activism to influence policy and to hold leaders accountable for their commitments towards a more just and sustainable world.
Global Citizen Festival is a series that is currently running and has 6 seasons (16 episodes). The series first aired on September 28, 2013.