How Brits Can Watch Global Citizen Festival Right From Their Living Room
Janet Jackson, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B, Janelle Monáe — Global Citizen Festival is back!
It’s back, baby.
Janet Jackson, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B, Janelle Monáe, John Legend, and a group of super-famous hosts — including Deborra-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman — are coming together alongside world leaders to help end extreme poverty by 2030.
You know what I’m talking about. On Saturday, Sept. 29, the Global Citizen Festival in New York City returns — and you can watch the whole thing right here.
For us in the UK, the party kicks off in Central Park from 8 p.m. — and it’s available to stream from NBCnews.com, Twitter, and YouTube presented by Johnson & Johnson, or on our fancy website. And you can follow @GlblCtznUK on Twitter for all the best bits as they happen.
But why should you give up your Saturday night when the Ryder Cup Highlights are happening on BBC2?
Because Global Citizen Festival always brings some ridiculously iconic moments — and you’ll be part of a wave of activists tuning in all around the world.
Here are a few of our favourite throwbacks.
1. Stevie Wonder took the knee
In 2016, Colin Kaepernick knelt during the American national anthem to protest police brutality — and the uproar echoed across the Atlantic.
The following year, Stevie Wonder joined the movement on the Global Citizen stage in Central Park.
“Tonight, I'm taking a knee for America,” he told the crowd of 60,000. “But not just one knee, I'm taking both knees … in prayer for our planet, our future, our leaders of the world and our globe."
Now, Kaepernick is the face of Nike’s newest campaign urging fans to “believe in something” — and you can expect outspoken social justice warriors like Janelle Monáe and Janet Jackson to bring a rapturous call of truth to power.
“Music is my weapon,” Monáe told the Guardian in 2017. “I won’t remain silent.”
2. Pharrell flooded the stage with Global Citizens
Pharrell loves a crowd. So much so that last year he couldn’t help but bring pretty much the whole of Germany on stage with him.
On July 6, 2017, Global Citizen Festival went to Hamburg, Germany, for the first ever time to coincide with world leaders gathering in the city for the G20 summit.
Coldplay, Shakira, Ellie Goulding, and more joined popular German artists Herbert Grönemeyer and Andreas Bourani to call time on extreme poverty.
Then just as Pharrell dropped Freedom, he kept plucking Global Citizens from the crowd to sing it with him.
"And that is the sound of change in 2017," Pharrell said onstage.
Even better: We promise we’ll be able to fit you all into the livestream.
3. Beyoncé dueted with Ed Sheeran
Remember when Chris Martin sang in Spanish with Shakira in Germany? Or when Stevie Wonder did Happy with Pharrell in New York?
Legendary crossovers happen every year — and they don’t come bigger than Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran’s acoustic rendition of Drunk In Love.
So what will it be this year? Cardi B and Janelle Monáe? The Weeknd and Kendrick? John Legend and Chrissy Teigen?
Don’t miss a second. No, really, you’ll leave to put the kettle on, and something special will happen. Play it safe, and follow the action on your phone while you pop to Tesco.
4. John Legend always brings surprises
Our first ever Global Citizen Festival was once called something very different — and John Legend has been here since the very start.
The nine-time Grammy Award winner headlined the “End of Polio Concert” in Perth, Australia, and helped us drive commitments worth £90 million to eradicate the disease forever.
He then shocked fans at New York’s first Global Citizen Festival the following year with an unannounced cover of Imagine, described by the New York Times as “John Lennon’s vision of global citizenship.”
There’s always surprises — Alicia Keys and Ariana Grande have previously turned up for impromptu performances. But you’re going to have to watch to get the scoop.
5. It’s always so much more than the music
Yes, Janet Jackson will kill it. Of course, Cardi B will make the news. But, as ever, we want you to be a part of something even bigger.
Every performance, every surprise, every commitment has one mission: to end extreme poverty by 2030.
In the past we’ve had activists like Malala stand with leaders like Justin Trudeau; Michelle Obama hugged Beyoncé on stage; presidents and prime ministers teamed up the planet’s biggest stars to fight for the world’s poorest people.
And you — vitally, you — supporting the cause right from your living room.
We don’t ever ask for money — just action. So get your mates in front of the TV, share the stream, and be part of the movement. New York awaits!