Global Citizen Festival in Central Park Raises Awareness

September 30, 2013 10:01 AM

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Global Citizen Festival in Central Park Raises Awareness

The Global Citizen Festival, which for the second year drew a capacity audience of 60,000 to the Great Lawn, revolves around a single, stubborn mission: the end of extreme poverty worldwide. To that end, it’s an informational forum as well as a demonstration of public-interest muscle, timed to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly. It’s also a marathon musical event. This year, Mr. Wonder closed up shop after energetic sets by the guitar-slinging rock crooner John Mayer, the emphatically earnest R&B singer-songwriter Alicia Keys and the surging Southern rock band Kings of Leon, along with a brief but effective solo medley by Elvis Costello.

As was the case last year, nearly all tickets were earned rather than bought: concertgoers registered at the festival’s Web site and amassed points by completing an array of awareness-building tasks. Repeatedly during the five-and-a-half-hour concert there were reminders of its core objective, throu...

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