The Global Citizen Festival returns this year on September 23rd in New York City to support efforts to end extreme poverty. Performers for the meaningful event include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Megan Thee Stallion, Japanese American soloist Conan Gray, and K-pop boy group Stray Kids. Free for general attendees, the event will be returning to the Great Lawn of Central Park in New York City.
Established in Australia in 2008, Global Citizen is one of the world’s largest international advocacy organizations. Having first begun in 2012, the Global Citizen Festival is timed to coincide with the UN’s General Assembly, hoping to bring awareness to various global issues and leverage opportunities to receive policy and financial commitments from government, corporate, and philanthropic leaders. This year’s campaign focuses primarily on the three biggest factors that are leading to extreme poverty around the world: climate change and its impact in the Global South, inequality for women and girls around the world in freedom, rights, and more, and the global hunger crisis.
This concert with a cause boasts a versatile and strong lineup, including three-time GRAMMY winning Megan Thee Stallion, who has become a pop culture icon for her chart-topping releases and confidence in her sensuality, Red Hot Chili Peppers, who are now more than 40 years into their career, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, and have participated in various charitable events throughout those years, and Lauryn Hill, an American singer, rapper, songwriter, and producer best known for her soulful voice, melodic rapping, and bridging of the hip hop and neo soul genres to popular music.
Also on the lineup is Conan Gray, a Japanese American singer-songwriter who started off on YouTube in 2013, uploading vlogs about his daily life, before he began to dabble in music. In 2017, he self-released the song “Idle Town,” and soon after, the young singer then released his first EP, Sunset Season. Gray didn’t get his big break until early 2020, when his song “Maniac” topped the charts in several countries including Australia and South Korea. Later that same year, the soloist’s melancholic song, “Heather,” began to trend on TikTok for its relatable lyrics and catchy tune. Since then, the singer-songwriter has performed on the main stage of Coachella, released several more singles, such as “Astronomy” and “People Watching,” and embarked on a global tour last year in celebration of the release of his Superache album.
The final act on the lineup for this year’s Global Citizen Festival is Stray Kids, a chart-topping, record-breaking boy group from South Korea. Debuting in 2018, Stray Kids has steadily climbed in popularity as the years have gone by. In their debut year, the group won six rookie awards, including awards from the Asia Artist Awards and the Mnet Asian Music Awards. In 2020, Stray Kids released their Go Live album, along with its repackaged album, In Life. Title song “Back Door” became the only song by a Korean artist to be included in Time Magazine’s 10 Best Songs of 2020. In 2021, the self-produced group participated in Mnet competition show Kingdom: Legendary War, in which they took first place. They completed their most recent world tour with an encore performance in Los Angeles this year, and have returned recently with their album 5-STAR, which debuted at number one on Billboard’s 200 Albums Chart, and is currently the second best selling album in Korean history.
More information on the festival and the organization’s purpose can be found on their website.