Musical talents, actors, actresses, powerful business leaders and advocates for social justice came together this weekend in Washington D.C. to raise awareness about global poverty.
Global Citizen’s 2015 Festival brought out hundreds of thousands of people in the DMV area for the free concert at the Washington Monument.
The headliner: No Doubt. The group even carried the show past the designated end time (7 p.m.) and actually began their set ten minutes before the call time. The band still performed classics from “It’s My Life” to “Hey Baby.”
World leaders, celebrities and more shared the importance of why the event was held and how the audience can make a difference. Several messages pushed the audience to download the Global Citizen app, which prompted users to sign petitions, write to the government and raise awareness on social media.
While there were several serious messages and videos of impoverished communities, the musical acts were not overlooked as there was every genre (except country) performing.
The most amazing act? Usher.
But why would this famous pop star be the best act?
Usher, who just underwent foot surgery, literally hopped up and down the stage throughout his whole set. Even though he couldn’t dance, he had the same amount of energy he would have at any of his tours.
Beginning with “O.M.G.” and bringing out both EDM teen Martin Garrix and the famed rapper Common, Usher put on an unbelievable set all while sporting his boot.
We saw him backstage with a gold crutch. Not surprising.
Mary J. Blige also brought the crowd to a standstill performing hits from her span of time as an artist. At the age of 44, she has refreshing talent, looks amazing and embodies such power in her vocals that everyone turns to double take at her performance.
Fall Out Boy drew out all the rockers in the crowd and played songs from all of the band’s albums including “Sugar We’re Going Down” and “Centuries.” The band made a vow to “be more green” this summer by planting trees and raising awareness throughout the band’s tour with Wiz Khalifa. (They hitMerriweather Post Pavillon June 27.
Other performances included D’Banj (a dancer fell face flat on the stage and no one helped her up. She was quick to get back to dancing though), Train, My Morning Jacket and Korean boy band Vixx.
A giant screen broadcasted the stage view for those on the opposite end of the hill. Several people held their own picnics. The entire field was filled from viewers literally next to the monument, to the opposite end of the field.
While Global Citizen Festival brought A-listers to raise awareness, it’ll be interesting to see how much of Chris Martin’s efforts actually become implemented. Only time can tell, but we hope that this day-long event helped the Global Citizen company overall and people will work to bring an end to global poverty.