Neil Young and Foo Fighters were among the star attractions at Saturday night’s Global Citizen Festival in Central Park. The concert was held in order to raise awareness about issues surrounding poverty and according to the Washington Post, organisers “used an innovative approach to ticket distribution so that many concert-goers were forced to learn about an array of global problems in order to get a ticket.”
Anyone wanting to attend the concert, which also featured performances from the Black Keys, John Legend and Band Of Horses, had to register for tickets at globalcitizen.org. They earned ‘points’ towards a ticket for every poverty-related video they watched, of piece of information that they read. Around 71,000 people signed up for tickets and 60,000 of those crowded into Central Park for the unique event. The bands played for a round an hour each and were interspersed with guest speakers talking about global poverty issues.
Neil Young was joined, for his set, by Dave Grohl and members of the Black Keys, for a rendition of his classic track ‘Rockin’ In The Free World.’ When Foo Fighters played their own set, Grohl told the audience “Feels good to be here.” John Legend made a “surprise appearance,” playing John Lennon’s ‘Imagine,’ just a short way from where Lennon used to live. The concert had been deliberately scheduled to coincide with the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this month, to increase public consciousness of the presence of poverty.