The typical situation is celebrities behaving badly, breaking the rules and setting a bad example for the hundreds of thousands of people who follow their every move. But when the gliteratti get together for a noble cause you wonder if that could even be possible. Well, I’m here to tell you that it can. Enter, Global Citizen Festival.
What started as a “humble idea” has come a long way in the six years it’s been in production. Just before it’s inauguration in 2o12, co-founder Ryan Gall was a documentary film maker and part time philanthropist, hosting nominal events in his area.
During an “inspirational” moment at one of Texas’ biggest music festivals, ACL (or Austin City Limits), Gall was impressed with all the “big name sponsors” and thought “there should be a Charity: Water Stage of the Hope Campaign Stage.” Within months, Gall was pitching the idea to Global Poverty Project CEO Hugh Evans, And GCF was born!
This past Saturday, I attended the coolest concert on the planet with major acts like Demi Lovato, Ellie Goulding, Metallica, Kendrick Lamar and of course closing the concert was the global phenom herself, Ms. Rihanna (aka Riri). And let’s not forget to mention in between, stars like Selma Hayek, Olivia Wilde and the concert’s Chief Creative Director, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, lead important discussions and key performances promoting the key message of the event – global good. Yes, please!
Held in Central Park, the event was broadcast live on MSNBC for all the world to see. With tens of thousands attending, and millions more watching live, these big names used their star power, combining music and activism, to promote the need for good will, activism, and sharing the power of the people.
While Kendrick’s message was powerful and proposed a definite social undertone, Chris Martin and Eddie Vedder rocked out to Cat Stephen’s classic, “Father and Son”, and Rihanna just straight up slayed the stage with her killer voice, sexy lyrics and bad ass dance moves.
And with VIP access tickets that got me up close and personal with all of the above, as I looked behind me toward the New York City skyline and setting sun in the background, the sheer energy and overall meaning of the event let me know that I would’ve been happy with standing anywhere in that crowd.
Until next year’s GCF, let’s put our minds and voices together to make a difference in this world. For more information on how you can participate, go to www.globalcitizen.org.