For the past several years, philanthropic organization Global Citizen has been battling poverty by using music as a draw to spur fans to action.
Since 2012, the anti-poverty organization Global Citizen has presented benefit concerts with a twist: Fans qualify for tickets by taking action to combat extreme poverty. On Dec. 2, the organization brought its latest festival closer to the frontline of that fight, with a concert in Johannesburg's 94,700-capacity FNB Stadium that featured Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Ed Sheeran and Eddie Vedder, among others, along with several major African artists.
Global Citizen said that the event, presented with House of Mandela to honor the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's birth, led to fans taking 5.6 million actions that resulted in more than $7 billion in commitments toward goals aligned with the United Nations' "2030 Program" of ending extreme poverty by that year.
"Music has been this incredible unifier of movement-building, and we were so excited to bring incredible artists from across the continent like Tiwa Savage, Sho Madjozi, D'Banj, WizKid and Cassper Nyovest together with international performers to show the world the incredible artistry that exists here," Global Citizen spokesperson Andrew Kirk told Billboard. "What happens in India or Africa affects us all globally and the Global Citizen movement is about looking beyond our own borders."