Central Park was the site of a free concert on Saturday that included K’naan, John Legend, Black Keys, Foo Fighters, Band of Horses and the incomparable Neil Young. The concert was dubbed Global Citizen Festival and it was streamed over the internet worldwide and attracted over 60,000 fans to view it live.
Legend was a surprise guest and played Imagine on the piano, just a short walk from where the song’s author, the late John Lennon used to live. Organizers scheduled the concert close to the meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations this week. Concert organizers also developed an ingenious plan to distribute tickets forcing those that wanted to attend to learn about a myriad of global issues ranging from malaria to polio and polluted drinking water to child mortality, in order to be given a ticket.
Organizers said over 71,000 people had signed up for tickets online that resulted in over 3.5 million pages views. Each person spent an average of about six minutes looking over content or sharing the information. Over 200,000 pieces of the website’s information were shared by users of Facebook and just slightly more on Twitter. Over 98,000 videos about issues related to poverty were viewed through to completion.
The project said its goals for the year had been reached as it has received commitments of over $500 million for projects to help fight against world poverty. The project hopes that concertgoers will continue to support them and tweet or send messages to Congressman and women and the president to try to help to cut poverty in half by 2015.