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7 Artists Who Promoted Peace at Panorama Music Festival

The first Panorama Music Festival came to New York over the weekend during a mega heat wave. It was a scorching three days on Randall's Island, but there were enough shade spots, water stations, and mist tents to keep cool if you played it smart.

The lineup was stacked with great artists playing across three stages and DJs performing in various domes and hubs. 

Overall, the weekend was a reminder of the unifying force of music a message embodied by the annual Global Citizen Festival (stay tuned!). Even in a time of seemingly growing divison and discord, people from different backgrounds can get together to groove to music, sing along to their favorite lyrics, and feel good.

Music has also always been a force for advocacy and activism (another core part of Global Citizen Festival). 

Read more: Music that Has Changed the World

Even still, it was surprising to see the extent to which artists called for peace, love, and general appreciation of others over the weekend. 

Here are seven artists who called for a better way and a better world: 

Major Lazer

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The electronic music trio had an early evening set on Friday, but it didn't take them long to get the crowd jumping with their rhythmic beats and flare for performance. Their last album is called "Peace is the Mission" and halfway through the set, two huge flags with those words were unfurled and paraded around the stage. Then Diplo and Jillionaire called for everyone to promote peace everywhere they go.

Arcade Fire

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The sprawling indie legends Arcade Fire closed out Friday with a moving set. They paid tribute to the late David Bowie a big influence on the band and a pioneer of creativity who carved out new spaces for people to express themselves. Frontman Win Butler also urged the audience to "stick together" and to stay politically active to make the world a better place. 

Read more: Tributes that Prove David Bowie Ch-ch-changed the World

Anderson Paak

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Maybe the most fun set of the weekend, Anderson Paak performed his genre-blending music with incredible exuberance. His last album explores themes such as authenticity and what it means to be good, and throughout his stage-roaming, hopping, and dancing he elaborated on these ideas.  


In the middle of their set, the raucous DJ duo called on the audience to raise their arms and celebrate diversity. Coming before and after frenzied dancing, it was a powerful moment of solidarity with people everywhere in the world. 

Sufjan Stevens

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Although his latest album "Carrie & Lowell" quietly probes hardship and identity, Sufjan reimagined many of his songs to better suit the lively festival atmosphere. He started with a pair of muscular, angelic wings and ended in a huge, woozy silver costume. Throughout, Sufjan dedicated his songs to people who were struggling and told the audience that everything can be overcome when people help each other. 

Kendrick Lamar

Few artists create music as politically charged and steeped in history as Kendrick does. His live act amplified these elements with repeating news footage and imagery that is dark, strange, funny, and disorienting. Most of his backdrop at Panorama evoked racial tension and the unease that's currently sweeping across the US. But despite his daring work, Lamar is always striving for unity and he called for this Saturday night during an explosive set. 

Read more: Beyoncé's Political Super Bowl Performance Comes at Perfect Time


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The persona SIA adopted for her last album is a radical challenge to pop stardom: she obscures her face with a perfectly flat blond and black wig and stands pole-straight during every performance. But that doesn't mean her live act is boring. A group of avant-garde dancers convey her often-tormented lyrics in startlingly imaginative sequences. Many of her songs deal with learning how to overcome inner turmoil and the redemption that can be found when you accept yourself. The way these ideas were evoked on stage brought many in the audience to tears. 

By taking action on Global Citizen, you will have a chance to win tickets to this year's Global Citizen Festival in New York City on Sept. 24, 2016. Learn more about the Global Citizen Festival here

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