Timed around the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, the Global Citizen Festival will return for a second year to continue efforts of building a movement to end extreme poverty by 2030.
The festival will be held Sept. 28 in Central Park and will feature headliners Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, Alicia Keys and John Mayer. Similar to last year, 54,000 people who participate in social action will be entered into a lottery to win free tickets and about 6,000 VIP tickets will be sold through Ticketmaster, with net proceeds going to charity.
“We want to encourage people who got involved last year to continue to take their involvement to a whole new level,” says Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Poverty Project, the nonprofit that organizes and oversees the festival. He notes that the event’s major themes this year are education, women’s equality, global health and global partnerships. “Our principle objective is to enable people to take action.”
Those who wish to qualify for free tickets can visit GlobalFestival.com and earn points through a variety of social actions, including watching videos, signing petitions and buying artist merchandise. The festival’s presenting sponsor, the Cotton On Foundation, will be selling artist merchandise in the company’s more than 150 stores across America.
“One-hundred percent of the profits raised goes to building schools in southern Uganda,” Evans says. “On [GlobalFestival.com] people earn points through buying those T-shirts.”
The organization is also encouraging people to contact world leaders attending the U.N. General Assembly meeting and urge them to commit funds to education.
“We’re asking world governments to commit and allocate at least 10% of their foreign aid budgets to basic education,” he says. “So on [GlobalFestival.com] you’re going to be able to email and call the offices of these world leaders.”
In addition to streaming the festival, organizers are making it a global event by setting up “live sites” in a handful of cities around the world. “We’re going to live-stream the concert in public locations where thousands of people can see it on a big screen,” Evans says, adding that specific cities will be announced in the coming weeks. “And we’ll have local performers at those live sites.”
The 2013 Global Citizen Festival is presented by the Cotton On Foundation and will be produced by AEG Live and Diversified Production Services, with Ticketmaster serving as the event’s ticketing partner. This year’s talent was booked by a committee comprising Pearl Jam management’s Kelly Curtis and Michele Anthony; Goldenvoice’s Brian Murphy and Rick Mueller; and AEG Live’s Mark Shulman.
Other supporters of this year’s Global Citizen Festival include Kidnected World, Hewlett-Packard, Pratt Foundation, FedEx, Coca-Cola, the Color Run and Riot House, with funding from the Sumner M. Redstone Foundation. Media partners include Clear Channel and Forbes.
“Last year served as the stage for our nonprofit partners to announce a total of $1.3 billion in new fundraising commitments that will have a direct impact on the world’s poor over the next fie years,” Evans says, noting that the World Bank alone committed $500 million to educational efforts.