NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Alicia Keys, Kings of Leon, John Mayer, Elvis Costello and Stevie Wonder were set to appear Saturday at the Global Citizen Festival concert in Central Park.
Gates opened at 2 p.m. for the concert on the Great Lawn at Central Park which played host to a number of musical acts and some 60,000 fans who were given free tickets for work already done.
“Normal benefit concerts you pay $100, you rock up and that’s the end of it. Here every single one of these 60,000 people earned their way in. They actually had to take action in support of the world’s poor already,” organizer Hugh Evans said.
The event is geared toward fighting extreme poverty around the world. Festival organizers noted that 1.2 billion people worldwide survive on less than $1.25 per day.
“The Global Citizen Festival is a chance to celebrate the success we’ve already had fighting poverty, while accelerating progress on the core issues of health, education and women’s equality, and demonstrating how global partnerships can contribute to ending extreme poverty,” organizers said in a news release.
The free, ticketed festival was presented by the Cotton On Foundation, which has helped provide high-performing schools in Uganda.
During the event U2’s Bono took the stage and spoke to the crowd about the progress that had already been made in Liberia, CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported.
“Tonight after 10 years there is a country, oh yeah, there’s hope of a future, oh yeah, and above all else there’s peace,” he said.
For the inaugural show last year, 60,000 people turned out for performances by Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, the Black Keys, John Legend and Band of Horses.
Organizers told CBS 2 that their goal is to wipe extreme poverty off of the face of the earth by 2030.
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