Dear Global Citizens,

I want to personally write to you to explain the incident that occurred at yesterday’s Global Citizen Festival and sincerely apologize to all of those who were affected by last night’s incident. 

Since last evening, we have been working with NYPD, and they have advised us of the following:

In the 7 o’clock hour yesterday evening, some attendees heard a loud noise causing significant alarm to those attendees who believed it sounded like gunshots. Upon hearing the noise, some attendees moved to swiftly exit the Park, and some were injured in the process. NYPD quickly determined that the noise was not gunshots, made an announcement on stage, and worked alongside FDNY, event security, and Global Citizen to ensure public safety.

While NYPD originally advised that a fallen security barrier caused the noise, NYPD informed us today that it was the sound of an attendee(s) stepping on and popping a drink bottle(s). Once NYPD and FDNY determined that the situation was safe, and security infrastructure was established for re-entry, attendees were permitted to re-enter the event through select entrances, and the Festival resumed.

Unfortunately, while every effort was made to quickly re-open the gates, we regret some attendees were unable to re-enter the Park, and for that we apologize. 

We would like to thank the NYPD, FDNY and security officials for acting quickly to respond to the incident, restore calm, and ensure attendees were safe.

A few dozen people reported injuries and sought treatment for injuries sustained as they were moving away from the area. To those who were injured or frightened by this experience, we sincerely apologize. We recognize how traumatic this was for many of you. 

The main priority of the Global Citizen organization is to maintain a safe and secure environment for individuals to come together in our collective effort to end extreme poverty. 

To those who are searching for lost property, please go to NYPD’s Central Park Precinct on the 86th Street Transverse Road between 5th Ave & Central Park West.

If you have any concerns or questions about last night’s event, please contact We welcome and appreciate your feedback.

We regret that this incident marred an otherwise impactful event. In the run-up to the Festival, Global Citizens took 2.1 million actions, which resulted in 37 commitments and announcements totaling $7.75 billion, which are set to affect the lives of 254 million people by 2030

We are immensely grateful to all Global Citizens for continuing to raise your voices on behalf of the world’s poor, and hope that you will continue to be a part of our movement and join us at future events and Festivals. 

Yours sincerely, 

Hugh and the Global Citizen team


Demand Equity

A Message About Last Night's Global Citizen Festival From Founder & CEO Hugh Evans