The 10th anniversary of the Global Citizen Festival — which campaigns for an end to poverty — will take place on 24 September at New York City’s Central Park and Black Star Square in Accra, Ghana.
The idea of the festival came about when music entrepreneur and philanthropist Ryan Gall met Australian humanitarian Hugh Evans.
Gall says the inspiration for the festival came after visiting Austin City Limits Music Festival and seeing the branding on the stages — but he wanted to replace the corporate branding with that of charities. The two then approached concert promoter Goldenvoice to launch the festival in 2012.
“The most marginalised populations are paying the price of the stagnant inaction of our leaders and now millions of lives, and the future of our planet, are at stake,” Evans said in a press release
“We refuse to just stand by and watch. We refuse to accept the starvation of multitudes when solutions are readily at hand. We demand a secure future for girls everywhere. We demand governments keep their promises on climate funding. We demand relief from debts unjustly crushing economies. And we demand action now, while there’s still time to change our collective trajectory.”
The Global Citizen Festival has been calling for an end to poverty by uniting millions of voices, amplified by the world’s biggest artists, demanding world leaders to take action now. This year’s festival will unite artists, world leaders, and Global Citizens to help empower girls and women, defend the planet and end extreme poverty.
The Central Park event will be hosted by actor, producer, author and Global Citizen ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas. Performers will include Metallica, Charlie Puth, Jonas Brothers, MÅNESKIN, Mariah Carey, Mickey Guyton and Rosalía, with more to be announced.
Gall and Evans recognised the importance of including Africa in the global conversation and action needed to end poverty. This year’ event at Accra’s Black Star Square is the festival’s second appearance on the continent.
Marking the 65th anniversary of Ghana’s independence and the 20th anniversary of the African Union, Black Star Square will see the world’s biggest performers live on stage.
The location for the festival in Ghana is significant because of its history. Black Star Square, also known as Independence Square, contains monuments to Ghana’s independence struggle, including the Independence Arch, Black Star Gate and the Liberation Day Monument.
The New York and Accra concerts will take place simultaneously.
Performances include Usher, SZA, Stormzy, Gyakie, H.E.R., Sarkodie, Stonebwoy and Tems, with more to be announced.
Usher said on Twitter: “I’ll be performing at the #GlobalCitizenFestival in Accra’s Black Star Square alongside activists and world leaders to empower women and girls, protect the planet, and create change on September 24.”
The festival was first held on the continent at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 2 December 2018. The event was a culmination of the Global Citizen Festival and Mandela 100, celebrating the legacy of Nelson Mandela for his centenary year.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z headlined the festival, which included a host of international and local performances. Presenters included Naomi Campbell, Gayle King, Tyler Perry, Trevor Noah, Bob Geldof, Forest Whitaker and Bonang Matheba. Oprah Winfrey delivered the keynote address.
Globally, the disproportionate effect of the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed nearly 100 million more people into extreme poverty and is reversing the trend of shrinking inequality, leading to the loss of at least three years of progress. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has aggravated the situation further, with as many as 323 million people now facing acute hunger and 1.2 billion people now living in nations experiencing food, energy and financial crises.
The 2022 Global Citizen Festival, which will take place ahead of the G20 meeting and the climate change conference, COP27, in November — will call on world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly to step up and invest $600-million in the future of women and girls, close the annual $10-billion climate financing shortfall, deliver $500-million to help African farmers respond to the global food crisis, and provide urgent relief from crushing debts to end extreme poverty.
Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo, said: “The time to help make a change is now. We must align forces to make an impact in Africa and help end extreme poverty. I have called fellow African leaders to join me in September and help break these systemic barriers that have been affecting our people. Let us build a strong foundation for future generations.”
Tickets to the festivals are free and can be earned by downloading the Global Citizen app or visiting www.globalcitizen.org to take action on the campaign’s issues. For each action taken, users earn points that can be redeemed for tickets to the festivals.