Charity events are often swank, exclusive affairs replete with $1,000-per-plate dinners and intimate star-studded performances — not so in the case of this week’s Global Citizen Festival, a massive musical event that aims to do copious amounts of good while still including the everyfan each step of the way.
A FESTIVAL WITH A MISSION
The first and only Global Citizen Festival will be held on September 29 in New York’s Central Park, a date that was chosen to coincide with this week’s UN General Assembly, where world leaders discuss the Millennium Development Goals. The event was conceptualized by the Global Poverty Project, an education and advocacy organization that aims to end extreme poverty, and AEG Network LIVE and AEG Digital Media (who will be producing and delivering the event).
Its aim? According to the website: “[To] celebrate the progress already made in fighting extreme poverty, secure financial commitments for tackling extreme poverty and disease, and mobilise thousands of ambassadors for change” while supporting a slew of anti-povert NGOs. In short: It’s not your usual outdoor affair.
The event features a pretty impressive roster of musicians and celebrities, including performers Neil Young with Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Band of Horses and K’naan, and hosts supporting a variety of charities: Katie Couric, Jeffrey Sachs, Jack Dorsey, Selena Gomez (for U.S. Fund for UNICEF), Minka Kelly (for The World Food Program USA), Sophia Bush (for Pencils of Promise), Olivia Wilde (for Half the Sky Movement), Katharine McPhee for (Malaria No More), and Erin Heatherton.
With this much star power in Central Park, one might suppose that tickets to the show are pretty pricey — and one would be right. You can currently score VIP tickets to the show, the cheapest of which are $250, online. (Net proceeds go to The Global Poverty Project.) However, many of the attendees were able to get access to the event without paying a dime.
The Global Poverty Project gave away more than 25,000 tickets to the show to interested parties by way of its Global Citizen app, an online tool that rewards users points for completing altruistic, real-life actions related to eradicating poverty. Users who scored three points were entered into a ticket lottery, and a lucky several thousand were chosen to attend the show. Apparently, 60,000 people entered the lottery in total.
AN ONLINE EXPERIENCE
Those who weren’t able to secure a physical ticket won’t be left out in the proverbial cold, however, as the Global Poverty Team plans to broadcast the show both online and on-air in what they’re calling “the largest syndicated music webcast and broadcast” in history.
According to John Rubey, executive producer of the broadcast and president of AEG Network LIVE, the show will stream three times from the festival’s website (once during the actual show and twice the day after), as well as via online properties like MTV, VH1, CMT, VEVO, YouTube, NYTimes.com and AOL, and TV outlets like Fuse, Globo Brazil and our very own Palladia.
Chris Roach, Head of business development for AEG Digital Media, adds that online livestreams will be a social affair. “We want to create an experience that lets the viewers watching it on their desktops, mobile phones, connected devices feel like they’re in the venue themselves,” he says.
Consequently, the experience will include interactive features like trivia related to global poverty and a social donation widget, as well as on-site aggregation of Tweets, Facebook posts, Google+ posts and Instagram pictures with tags related to the show and the Global Poverty Project. Viewers at home will even have their own host who will act as a liaison between the physical event and the social sphere.
Check out a behind-the-scenes video from the event up yonder and let us know in the comments: How do you give back?