Review: Global Citizens Festival


Photo by Nathan Dancy

Festivalgoers enjoy a performance by The Killers at this year’s Global Citizens’ Festival.

Nathan Dancy, Staffwriter

This past Saturday, a few friends and I made the trip to Central Park for this year’s Global Citizens Festival. This music festival is unlike many others – it’s free. You win tickets by signing online petitions, sending emails and tweeting to support various worldwide charities. This year’s lineup included Big Sean, The Killers, Green Day and Stevie Wonder in addition to other artists.

Big Sean was the second artist to perform at the festival. He performed four songs, including the song “Feels” a song that he, Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams were featured on by Calvin Harris, a prominent DJ and producer. The crowd enjoyed his set, but seemed to be generally disappointed when he performed so little.

The Killers took the stage after Big Sean and killed it to say the least. They came out strong with “All These Things That I’ve Done.” My friends and I were actually sitting down under a tree waiting for the next artist and when we heard the opening notes we ran for the stage to try and get a glimpse at the band. They finished their set with “Mr. Brightside,” from their Hot Fuss album in 2004, which is one of my favorites. Their performance was electric, and brought back some energy to the festival.

As the sun set on the Great Lawn of Central Park, Green Day began their performance which was the longest of the entire festival. They succeeded in getting the crowd on their feet by opening up with “Know Your Enemy,” a real head-banger. They continued their set with “Basket Case” and a sombering take on “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” Green Day was the highlight of my night. After bouncing around on stage for 20 minutes, lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong got everyone who wasn’t already on their feet, up and jumping when he finished their performance with American Idiot.After pushing and shoving in the crowd for a half and hour during Green Day’s set, Little Stevie arrived.

After his speech on uniting the nation and “taking a knee for America,” Stevie Wonder began his jazzy and upbeat performance had us all singing along. With classics like “ Signed, Sealed and Delivered” and “Superstition,” Stevie did a awesome job in wrapping up the day.

While the music was great, there simply was not enough of it. In between each set, famous philanthropists, activists and congressmen like Hugh Jackman, Lupita Nyong’o and Charlie Dent (one of Pennsylvania’s congressmen), would make speeches and talk about being an activist for different world charities, showing sad videos of children who need our help. While I agree that something needs to be done to help those in need, I was not aware how much campaigning and promoting of charities would occur at the Festival, so I too was disappointed by the short lengths of performances. However, I did enjoy all of the performances. Overall I enjoyed the 2017 Global Citizens Festival, but I’m not sure if I will be attending next year.