Top names in music including Metallica and Rihanna joined leaders Saturday in a concert that brought promises of action to support refugees and improve sanitation in the developing world.
The Global Citizen Festival, broadcast live from the vast lawn of New York’s Central Park, distributes tickets to fans who commit to petitions and other actions aimed at ending extreme poverty.
Interspersing performances from some of the world’s most sought-after artists with rapid speeches and videos, the fifth edition of the festival put a special focus on solidarity with refugees amid the mass exodus from war-ravaged Syria.
Electronic duo Major Lazer kicked off the more than six-hour festival that also brought out leading pop singers Demi Lovato, Ellie Goulding and Rihanna — who noted to the crowd that she herself migrated from Barbados.
Metallica played one of the band’s few shows ahead of the metal icons’ upcoming album, ripping through five of their most classic tunes at a decibel level rarely heard in the halls of international diplomacy.
Yusuf, the folk rocker known as Cat Stevens before his conversion to Islam, appealed to the crowd to ensure that no one is “stigmatized” on account of identity.
“This globe is big enough for everybody to share”, he said.
Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder teamed up separately with Yusuf and with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, with whom he sang a two-guitar version of Patti Smith’s “People Have the Power”. (AFP)