Ed Sheeran, Lizzo and Billy Eilish are among the stars attending the 24-hour concert. Its aim is to raise the awareness of as many people as possible about climate change, hunger in the world, as well as inequality in access to vaccination against COVID-19. A total of 60 artists take part in The Global Citizen festival.
The Global Citizen festival is held, among others, by in New York, London and Seoul. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend, and millions are likely to watch the broadcast.
The party started on Saturday in Paris with Elton John performing. He took the stage after a pre-recorded performance by k-pop band BTS.
Global Citizen calls for the fight against hunger and poverty
Considered one of the greatest charity events in history, the concert was organized by Global Citizen – an organization working to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. Unlike most events of this type, the organizers are not intended to raise money. Rather, they want to show world leaders that people support courageous action to protect the climate and fight hunger.
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“It’s a demand that corporations and philanthropists work together to defend the planet and fight poverty,” Global Citizen said in a statement.
The organization called on international governments to plant a billion trees, deliver a billion vaccines to the poorest countries, and donate food to 41 million people on the verge of starvation.
Performance by the princely couple and concerts
Jennifer Lopez, among others, performed in New York. Billie Eilish and Coldplay also appeared at the concert there.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have already performed on the New York stage. They called for access to COVID-19 vaccines “as a basic human right”. They were followed by performances by singer Alessia Cary and pop veteran Cyndi Lauper who sang the song “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”. They dedicated it to Afghan women.
Ed Sheeran performed in Paris alongside Black Eyed Peas, Stormzy and the winners of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, the band Måneskin. Stevie Wonder starred in Los Angeles. There were also pre-recorded performances by a huge number of stars, including the band Green Day, singer Kylie Minogue and tenor Andrea Bocelli.
Declarations of states and corporations
In the recorded news, the head of USAID, the US government’s aid agency, Samantha Power announced that the US would spend more than $ 295 million (£ 215 million) “to end hunger, tackle gender-based violence and meet urgent humanitarian needs.” French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to double the number of coronavirus vaccines that his country will send to poorer countries.
Many multinational companies such as Lego, Cisco and Verizon have pledged to donate to charity.
The head of the World Health Organization supported Saturday’s concerts. He called on leaders of developed countries to unite and tackle vaccine inequality. ‘We cannot ignore this glaring inequality or become complacent,’ said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Participants only with a vaccine passport or negative test result
People who attended the concerts had to present a vaccine passport or a negative coronavirus test result. Tickets for the event were available for free and randomized. It was enough to register in the Global Citizen application and share the petition of the organization on social media.
Global Citizen was responsible for other high-profile charity events, including Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World earlier this year in Los Angeles. Musicians, actors and celebrities have called for publicly available vaccinations against COVID-19.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / Peter Foley