Global_Citizen_FestivalOn Sept. 26, the fourth annual Global Citizen Festival will take place — a unique concert that uses music to raise poverty awareness. Celebrity activists and humanitarian leaders have banded together to organize this year’s festival. They hope to channel hype and excitement over the concert into anti-poverty action.

The Global Citizen Festival began as an anti-poverty platform in 2012. Each year, the concert acts as a hub for campaigns that work towards global development and poverty eradication. This year, the festival will be timed to coincide with the launch of the United Nations’ new Global Goals, designed to end poverty by 2030.

Global Poverty Project, an organization that aims to end extreme poverty by increasing the number of people taking anti-poverty action, hosts the yearly concert. This year, the concert will take place on the Great Lawn at Central Park. Coldplay’s Chris Martin has played a leading role in creating the concert’s lineup.

For the second year in a row, MSNBC will be serving as a media partner of the Global Citizen Festival. The network will air a live simulcast of the full concert on their website. Youtube is also a worldwide digital streaming partner for the Festival, and will feature a special live stream of the concert which can be found here.

Last year, celebrity activists including Hugh Jackman, Adrian Grenier, and Jessica Alba, and world leaders like United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the musical acts. The all-star lineup included Beyonce, Jay Z, Sting, Tiesto, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood, and more.

As 2015 is an especially important year for the global fight against poverty, this year’s festival is sure to not disappoint. This September at the UN General Assembly in New York, world leaders will announce a new set of global goals designed to fight inequality, protect our planet, and most importantly to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Organizers of the Global Citizen Festival hope that this year’s concert will act as a launching pad for essential policy and financial commitments needed to achieve these goals. Early initiation of such commitments is indeed a critical step.

For those who seek immediate anti-poverty action, Global Citizen is offering a chance to win free tickets to the concert on their website, By following the outlined poverty-fighting steps on the organization’s website, people can maximize their chances of earning a free concert ticket!

Keeping in line with the anti-poverty spirit, H&M is also offering points towards winning tickets to the festival for those who donate gently used clothes at any store location. Clothing donations will start being accepted on Sept. 17 and will continue up until the concert.

Stephen Colbert, Salma Hayek, Deborra-Lee & Hugh Jackman, Kerry Washington, and Olivia Wilde will be hosting the event. Perhaps even more exciting is this year’s lineup, which includes—among others—Pearl Jam, Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, and of course, Coldplay.

With the perfect location, rock star hosts and performers and an incredibly noble cause, this year’s Global Citizen Festival is sure to live up to its hype. By pairing live entertainment with global development goals, the Global Poverty Project has certainly raised the standard of strategic anti-poverty innovation.

Sarah Bernard

Sources: MSNBC, Audio Ink Radio, Global Citizen
Photo: Google Images

Every year, thousands of music festivals take place around the world. Perhaps inspired in part by George Harrison’s 1971 arena benefit show, “The Concert for Bangladesh,” a multi-artist concert that raised money for East Pakistani refugees following the Bhola Cyclone, festivals now incorporate special activities that contribute to poverty relief in surprising ways. Here is a list of threee music festivals from around the country that play good music while contributing to relief organizations.

1. Firefly hosted by Red Frog Events
A relatively new music festival, Firefly began in 2011 and takes place every year in Dover, DE. Located “among lush wooded landscapes,” Firefly brings in notable alternative and popular artists such as Yeasayer, Lupe Fiasco, and Bassnectar. Unlike other festivals, Firefly offers a TOMS booth which allows festival attendees to purchase a pair of TOMS shoes and have them customized by an artist. As with other TOMS programs, including eyeware, for every pair of shoes sold TOMS will donate another as part of its One For One Movement.

2. Bonnaroo
Located in Tennessee on a 700 acre stretch of land, Bonnaroo celebrate camping, music, and global awareness. One section of their festival is dedicated to “Planet Roo,” an area dedicated to a “variety of nonprofit organizations committed to protecting our resources, promoting healthy lifestyles and making the world a better place,” states their website. Although unrelated to global aid, Bonnaroo has also asked buyers to donate an additional $1 when they purchase their tickets.  The proceeds go toward an on-site solar array and other eco-projects.

3. Lollapalooza
Chicago hosts this behemoth of a festival that began in 1991 by Jane’s Addiction front man, Perry Farrell. Over a three-day time period, the festival showcases popular and up and coming artists to over 225,000 fans. In addition to the concerts, Lollapalooza also offers informational booths dedicated to non-profit organizations, including One, a global grassroots advocacy organization, “dedicated to fighting extreme poverty, preventable disease and hunger around the world.” Alongside One is Oxfam, another global organization that seeks to correct the inequity created by poverty, hunger and injustice.

Emily Bajet

Sources: Lollapalooza, Lollapalooza Billboard, Rolling Stone, Fast Company

Bonnaroo Music Festival Has Donated $5 Million

The internationally acclaimed Bonnaroo music festival has become one of the top, grand festivals in the world – and its philanthropic impact is greater for it. Event partner Rick Farman says, “One of our founding principles is to give back at the local, regional and national levels, and we are pleased that we’ve been able to significantly impact a number of organizations.” Since its inception in 2002, the event has donated a total of $5 million to regional and global non-profit organizations.

A portion of every ticket sold goes to the Bonnaroo Works Fund, and the fund then distributes the money to an amazing array of groups, including Doctors Without Borders, MusiCares, Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Club of America, Rock the Earth, the American Red Cross, and the Sierra Club. The money also is allocated to emergency aid for natural disasters like the Haitian earthquake, and Hurricane Katrina. The fund is administered by the East Tennessee Foundation (ETF), which helps identify and vet organizations, looking for those that have the most impact, including arts, education, and environment sustainability. Additionally, Bonnaroo fans fully funded a solar panel system that will be used to generate power for the concerts.

This year’s outdoor festival is June 13-16 in Manchester, Tennessee, USA. A four day event with 150 performances ranging from musicians to comedians, performing on 10 different stages across 700 acres of farmland. An estimated 80,000 fans will camp out for the entire event. Some of the headliners for the 2013 Bonnaroo are Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty, Bjork, Wilco, R. Kelly, Wu-Tang Clan and many more.

Rick Farman further explained that Bonnaroo organizers have promised to significantly increase the amount raised over the next 10 years. The Bonnaroo Works Fund will provide for more innovative programs, and will upgrade charitable outreach and philanthropic support.

– Mary Purcell

Source:, Music News Nashville