The Global Citizen Festival Rocks Central Park Again

If there’s another Global Citizen Festival — which we all need to pray there will be — then somebody’s got to figure out how to fit more people into Central Park. Because for the second year in a row, a capacity crowd of more than 60,000 thundered its way onto the Great Lawn to hear one of the best concerts of the year.

Electric sets from John Mayer, Alicia Keys and Kings of Leon set the stage for the festival, which once again required fans to earn tickets by registering online and using social media to raise awareness in the fight against poverty. Performers, foundation heads and celebrity guests such as Gerard Butler,, Bono and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon repeatedly drove home the night’s cause with earnest messages and short videos.

But Hugh Evans, cofounder of the festival’s main organizer, the nonprofit Global Poverty Project, understands that the best way to reach an audience is through music — especially the rousing, goosebump-raising kind played by special guest Elvis Costello and closing act Stevie Wonder, who jammed with R&B queen Janelle Monae in a fitting send off (that included an incredible version of Higher Ground) that left fans wondering how the festival will overcome the seemingly impossible task of outdoing itself yet again.

Photos by Andrew Boyle

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