The 2015 Global Citizen Festival seeks to spread awareness of world poverty through music. The concert takes place on September 26 on the Great Lawn in Central Park, New York City.

In 2000, countries around the world joined together to create the Millennium Development Goals, a kind of 15-year checklist for tackling world issues such as hunger, disease, lack of shelter, education and gender equality. For four years, the Global Citizen Festival has sought to engage citizens and world leaders with pressing world issues. This year, the concert aims to bring attention to the United Nations’ Global Goals, which are 17 new objectives for ending extreme poverty by 2030. World leaders from 193 countries will solidify these objectives in September.

Performers at the concert include Beyoncé, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran and Pearl Jam.

Beyoncé’s organization, Chime for Change, partners with the event. The group strives to empower, educate and protect women and girls around the world. Beyoncé hopes the concert will bring hundreds of initiatives that are dedicated to changing lives.

Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay, agreed be the creative curator of the festival for the next 15 years, the same amount of time that the United Nations hopes to completely eradicate poverty.

English singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran says, “I look forward to sharing the stage with such an amazing lineup of artists in an effort to raise awareness, educate others and work toward the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030. I truly believe it’s possible if we all work together.”

“People living on less than $1.50 a day deserve the opportunity to lift themselves up out of extreme poverty,” added Pearl Jam guitarist, Stone Gossard.

Tickets to the concert are free. All that is required is a promise to take action against injustices around the world. Some of these actions could include sending emails to political leaders, signing petitions or making phone calls or sending tweets to senators.

The steps to earn tickets are called Action Journeys. By completing each action, participants are entered into a drawing to receive two tickets. After each drawing, new Action Journeys are opened. Not only will participants increase their chances of winning tickets by completing more Action Journeys, but they will also be increasing awareness of world issues.

The Global Citizen Festival will be targeting six essential world problems: girls and women, food and hunger, education, global health, water, sanitation and hygiene, and financing.

Chief executive of the Global Poverty Project, Hugh Evans, says, “The world has halved extreme poverty in the last 15 years, but to end it in the next 15, there’s a whole lot of things we need to make that a reality.”

To participate in the Action Journeys or to see more information, visit

Kelsey Parrotte

Sources: ArtsBeat, BBC, Cosmopolitan, Global Citizen, Rappler, Rolling Stone
Photo: Digital Trends