During the last weekend of September I attended the Global Citizen Festival with A and one of my close friends. If you aren’t aware of Global Citizen, it’s an organization that has teamed up with a bevy of celebrities and other social change groups in order to make a difference in the world.
There are several issues that they focus on such as education for girls, foreign aid, ending hunger and extreme poverty along with many others. You can find out more about the #globalgoals and see what you can do to impact the world in a positive way here.
See how you can positively impact the world with @GlbCtzn at globalcitizen.org #globalgoals Click To Tweet
It was a fantastic day but it got off to an incredibly hectic and stressful start. First off, I didn’t even know that I would be attending the Global Citizen Festival until a couple of days before. The way that this music event works is that you sign up to their website, complete a set of activism tasks (signing petitions, tweets, calling a local rep) and are then entered into a raffle to win free tickets.
Each person is eligible to be entered into the raffle each time they complete a new round of tasks and each winner is awarded a pair of tickets each time they win. In the past, I’ve won tickets but this year I didn’t and assumed I would be missing out.
Fortunately, one of my friends had an extra pair and invited me along. I was a bit hesitant since I had plans with A during his vacation week so in order to relieve some of my guilt I went on the hunt to get him a ticket too.
Global Citizen has been around for a few years now and I’ve been lucky enough to see acts like Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, No Doubt, Sting, John Mayer, Alicia Keys, Foo Fighters and more because of them. I was not going to miss it this year and several stressful hours later I was able to make sure that A would be able to attend again too.
I wont bore you with the details but lets just say that a bunch of sweat, near tears, nervous laughing, missed buses and a lot of me frantically running up and down avenues and trying to give directions with signal issues to A who was trying to figure out the subway alone (remember he’s from Beirut) went into making this day possible. I have NEVER been so stressed but it was so worth it!
This time around, like my previous festival posts here and here, the playlist is super sized and with artists like Coldplay, Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé I’m surprised I was able to get the list down to just 9 songs. Check out the highs, lows and fun bits from the Global Citizen Festival below!
Coldplay went on first which is something that I wasn’t expecting. It might have been on the Global Citizen Festival schedule but since I didn’t think that I would be attending I didn’t think to look. Sadly I missed most of their set save for a few songs but what I did see was great. I missed “Yellow” guys?!! How could I miss that song!
I also missed when Ariana Grande came out to sing her song “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart” with Chris Martin. Still kicking myself for that one. Oh well, I can’t complain. I would have thought that a newer act like Tori Kelly would have gone on before them. Pro Concert Tip: Always arrive early if you can. Arriving later was kind of unavoidable this time but it’s worth mentioning.
Ed Sheeran is such a gem! You can just see how incredibly talented he is and the way in which he performs is like no one else. I loved his sense of humor and how it’s so evident that everyone around you is also appreciating his performance skills.
Anyone who can sell out arenas without dancers and massive stage production is clearly able to do so because their musical gift is beyond words. My cousin is really into him and has gotten up extra early a few times to see him perform for free at those summer concert series morning shows put on. At the time, I felt like hugging my pillow more and now I wish I had gone with him.
Beyoncé also performed at the Global Citizen Festival. Guys Beyoncé performed! Did I say Beyoncé performed? I might be revealing myself as a member of the #beyhive right now but in all honesty, I’m not. I like her songs a lot but I’m probably more of a #littlemonster if you catch my drift.
Still, there is no denying the power of that woman on stage. She has stage presence for days, weeks, months, millenniums. haha.
The highlight of her Global Citizen festival performance was when she brought out Ed Sheeran to sing “Drunk in Love” which you may have seen on my Instagram. Long story short is was amazing and I feel really privileged to have seen it for FREE.
NOTE: For drops of feminist knowledge start listening to the below track at 1:25
Michelle Obama & Vice President Joe Biden
No matter what you’re political affiliation it’s always cool to see a sitting Vice President and the current FLOTUS give impassioned speeches about making a difference in the world.
I want to keep Violet Roots out of the realm of politics so I’ll leave it at that for now but just know that the whole thing was pretty cool. Michelle Obama introduced this new campaign called #62milliongirls at the Global Citizen Festival which you may or may not have seen floating around on the internet.
It’s an initiative to shed light on all the girls in the world who are being deprived of an education.
In this social media campaign, all you have to do is post a pic of yourself and say what you learned in school using the hashtag and it will be added to the yearbook on the #62milliongirls site. I’m coming up with something thoughtful to say and I encourage you all to do the same. Also, since I know some of you are guys – you can do it too!
- Pearl Jam’s set is where I made my exit. I stayed for two songs out of respect since I know they’re a big deal but that’s about all I could handle. Sorry if a few of you guys are fans of theirs!
- Tori Kelly was a nice surprise. I only know of her because her songs are starting to get a lot of play lately. Her voice was really nice and I enjoyed it.
- Common performed with Sting which I wasn’t expecting since last year Sting came out and performed with No Doubt. I’ve seen Common once before at the special screening for the Game of Thrones season 4 premiere last year. You might think that’s a weird mix but he’s featured on one of the albums for the show and is a solid performer.
- Celebrities galore! Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Laverne Cox, Sophia Bush, Usher, Olivia Wilde, Connie Britton, Bill Nye, Hugh Jackman, Stephen Colbert etc. were all involved as speakers and presenters at the Global Citizen Festival.
What do you think of the Global Citizen Festival? If you’re from the area have you been? Next week check back for highlights from Years & Years at Terminal 5!