After three years of rocking New York’s Central Park, the Global Citizen Festival is expanding to Washington, D.C., for Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day, a free event to be held Saturday, April 18, on the National Mall. No Doubt, Usher, Fall Out Boy, Mary J. Blige, Train and My Morning Jacket will be the event’s headliners, with special appearances planned by Common and Nigerian artist D’Banj. Will.i.am will host alongside veteran journalist Soledad O’Brien.
Additional performers and appearances will be announced in the coming weeks, with World Bank president Jim Yong Kim and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon among the officials expected to announce new financial commitments to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end global poverty by 2030. The event will coincide with the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, as well as the spring meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.
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No Doubt, who introduced Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s $1 billion pledge at the 2014 New York concert, says in a joint statement, “Last year we rocked with 60,000 global citizens in Central Park, all committed to ending extreme poverty. We now help bring this movement to the nation’s capital, this time with a focus on climate change and its inexorable effect on the world’s poor. We owe it to our children to protect our planet and their futures.”
Usher, who was instrumental in bringing Blige and Common to the event, adds, “Music has long had the ability to motivate generations and inspire movements. I’m proud to lend my voice to the call to end extreme poverty, solve climate change, and educate our youth on such a historic stage.”
Crush Management met with Global Citizen co-founder/CEO Hugh Evans in early 2015 and quickly signed up clients Train and Fall Out Boy to play the DC event. Train’s Pat Monahan said the band was “honored to lend our music to the movement to protect our environment,” while Fall Out Boy added, “Taking direct action to make the world a better place — to eradicate extreme poverty and find a solution for climate change — is essential not only for us but for our kids and all future generations. If our participation and music can bring attention to these issues then we’re doing our job right. We must stand together to make lasting change.”
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Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day comes on the heels of February’s announcement that Coldplay frontman Chris Martin would be serving as Global Citizen’s festival curator for the next 15 years. Though Martin’s gig doesn’t begin officially until the next Central Park concert in September, Evans says Martin was supportive in booking the Earth Day event, as were advisers Artist Group International’s Marsha Vlasic, Universal Music Group’s Michele Anthony and AEG Live’s Mark Shulman. “To have artists that are so passionate about the historic nature of this opportunity and bringing people to the movement was just an absolute pleasure for us,” Evans says.
Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network, also notes that the Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day is a “First Amendment event — it’s not a concert or a festival,” though there will be plenty of musical performances. Instead, it will be an “opportunity to take tremendous musicians and bring them together with regular people and government leaders and NGOs under one roof on the Washington Monument grounds.”
Corporate partners for Global Citizen 2015 Earth day include The Caterpillar Foundation, Citi, CJ Corporation, iHeartMedia, Clear Channel Outdoor, MSNBC, YouTube, Google, and Alcantara. Additional information is available at GlobalCitizen2015EarthDay.org.