This past weekend, I attended the 5th annual Global Citizens Music Festival in New York City. But, before I get into the details, I want to explain what the Global Citizens Campaign is all about. Global Citizen identifies themselves as a “social action platform for a global generation that wants to solve the world’s biggest challenges” (Global citizen.org). They encourage people to learn about the issues to take action in an effort to promote change. This year, global citizens took action on challenges involving Girls & Women, Health, Education, Food & Hunger, Water & Sanitation, Environment, and Citizenship. We were encouraged to reach out to global leaders and urge them to put forth the effort to make a change within their countries. This involved tweeting and emailing Prime Ministers, recording videos expressing our support and spreading social awareness about the issues happening around the world. And, by doing these things, we were able to earn points that helped us to get tickets in order to attend the festival at Central Park.
This year’s line-up was major! Rihanna was the headlining act with other performances by Demi Lovato, Kendrick Lamar, Major Lazer, Metallica, the Ghana Boys Choir, Yandel, Usher, and much more. There was an abundance of hosts and special guests such as Priyanka Chopra, Neil Patrick Harris, Chelsea Handler, and Hugh Jackman. The entire festival was coordinated by Chris Martin of Coldplay.
There were thousands of people in attendance at this year’s festival so, as you can imagine, things were a bit hectic. Just like most music festivals, coordination wasn’t a major thing. People were not assigned to seats but, we were put into pins and free to place ourselves where we pleased. Throughout the night, I did not remain in just one spot. I moved around quite a lot and, most of the time, not by choice. It was all a bit overwhelming because everyone was packed together and trying to get a better view of the stage. There were monitors playing the concert so that people in the back could see so, that definitely helped me out. I never got a clear view of the actual stage so, that was a bummer. Other than that, my experience was wonderful.
Chelsea Handler and Hugh Jackman were the main hosts. They did about as well as a host can do. There were a bunch of other hosts as well and they did well. Throughout the show, there were videos being shown that talked about different global issues happening but, it was too loud to pay much attention.
Major Lazer was the opening act and they were amazing! I have listened to them before so I wasn’t completely naive. The only thing that I would change is that I would have liked for them to perform at night since they are an EDM artist and they like to put on a light show.
Demi Lovato’s performance was out of this world. Her vocals were strong, she hit every single note and she looked amazing while doing it. I do wish that her set was longer, though. She was on for about 15 minutes which isn’t very long for a music festival performance.
Yandel, a Hispanic artist, definitely brought out the Hispanics in the crowd. I enjoyed his performance a lot. I definitely moved my hips a little bit. He spoke entirely in Spanish though so; I didn’t understand what he was saying. Surprisingly, he brought out Becky G for a special performance which was wonderful because I am a fan of hers.
Metallica blew me away. Now, I know nothing about Metallica. I’ve never listened to their music before and I am not a fan of that genre but, let’s just say that they are the newest addition to my Apple Music library. The guitar was on point, the vocals were amazing (although a little loud) and I definitely rocked out.
Kendrick Lamar. KENDRICK LAMAR! What can I say? He was everything that I expected him to be. He definitely vibed with the crowd, taking the time out to acknowledge his “day one” fans and interact with people. Every song was performed with so much energy and charisma. He performed a medley of old and current songs (my favorite was Be Alright), and he got the crowd hyped.
There a bunch of other smaller performances in between the main acts, my favorite being the Ghana Boys Choir who performed native music and their rendition of Selena Gomez’s “Kill Em with Kindness.”
And finally, after a delay due to makeup and wardrobe, the main act graced the stage with her undeniable slayage. Rihanna opened up the show with Stay, and it was flawless. She hit the notes, the runs, the dance moves, everything. Her set was a mixture of classic hits and songs off of her current album. Some of the songs that she performed are “Run This Town”, “Umbrella”, “We Found Love”, “Diamonds”, “Work”, “Needed Me”, “Desperado”, “Bitch Better Have My Money”, “Consideration”, “Love On the Brain”, “Goodnight Gotham”, “Where Have You Been”, “Birthday Cake”, and” Numb.” Her dancers did a little performance too and they were flawless. Rihanna was definitely the perfect way to close the show!
Overall, for my first festival experience, I really enjoyed myself. It was definitely new to me. I will say this, though, it is nothing compared to the coordination and organization of an actual concert and I missed having that.
If you want to attend next year’s concert, you can get a head start by downloading the Global Citizens app and earning your points. Global Citizen is a great cause to represent and I recommend checking it out. I’ve already started earning my points!
Hope to see you there in 2017.