Yesterday, September 29th 2012, Central Park hosted the Global Citizen Festival. This combination of music and charity work was an amazing night for everyone in the audience, and the global community watching at home. The festival featured performances from K’naan, Band of Horses, The Black Keys, Foo Fighters and Neil Young with Crazy Horse. All of these popular artists donated their time to be part of this charitable event. The event opened at 2:00 and the first act was not scheduled to go on until 5:00, which allowed several hours for the crowd to get settled and various charities to walk around with petitions and raise awareness for their causes. Many charities made pledges to raise large amounts of money to support their work, and achieve their short term goals.
Between each musical act different organizations and advocates made presentations, and awards were given to global citizens who are working to make a positive difference in the world. Additionally, most of the support that these organizations were asking for was in the form of online social media contributions. By signing petitions, tweeting to our potential presidential candidates and taking part in other social media acts.
There were appearances from John Legend, Olivia Wilde, Selena Gomez, Katie Couric and many leaders in the fight to end global poverty. Between each act, a different organization tried to raise awareness for different global issues, like polio, gender equality, poverty, malaria and many more.
The excitement and support from the audience was incredible, as well as from the global community watching online at home. The Global Citizen Festival preached that we all need to be Global Citizens, people who care about the well-being of the entire world, not just what is directly surrounding us. The event was free for audience members, who were entered into a lottery for tickets. And it attempted to make a lasting impression on the global community, and change the way we think about ourselves. Not only as residents of a particular country, but as a part of the world and the environment.
Additionally, the festival was rooted in social media and online use. Not only did the presenters call the audience members to action by posting or pledging through social media. They also designed the experience to work as a virtual one. The concert was streamed live online, the website hosted live photo uploads from people in the crowd posting images, and the screens at the show gave several prompts for audience members to tweet or post online to make a difference. Thinking globally goes hand-in-hand with social media use. There is no easier way to reach a global community than through the online resources that we have.
The festival was fun, inspiring and a great opportunity to learn about the great issues that face our time. For more information on this event, check out this webpage: http://globalfestival.com This event was the largest syndicated charity concert in online and broadcast TV history. And it’s one that will continue to gain momentum and work to help aid the fight to end extreme poverty.