World’s Biggest Music Concert Planned To Boost Covid Recovery

A 24-hour concert on six continents with some of the biggest performing artists will take place this September.

The Weeknd, Ed Sheeran, BTS, Coldplay, Billie Eilish and Usher are among the artists who will play on 25 September at concerts in Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, London, Seoul, Los Angeles, and Sydney.

Starting in Sydney, Global Citizen Live will go on for 24 hours while being broadcast to audiences around the world on multiple channels and streaming websites.

But like previous concerts organized by Global Citizen, a campaign group, the goal of the event is not to make money, but to convince the rich and powerful to do more to end poverty and reverse climate change after the setback of Covid-19.

“Covid-19 has drastically reversed the progress toward achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals pushing upwards of 160 million people back into extreme poverty. There are now more than 40 million people on the brink of famine,” says Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen.

He wants to see governments, corporations and philanthropists do more. Performers at the event will pressure them to donate $6 billion towards famine relief efforts, $400 million towards education saving and mobilizing $250 million to support Covid-19 response efforts. Then there are the billions of trees that need to be protected and restored plus the one billion Covid-19 vaccines to be donated to those most in need by September.

It is a tall order, but the timing of the event has been arranged for maximum pressure. The G20 group of countries is due to meet in October and the COP26 climate change event is scheduled for November.

Hosting part of the event in Nigeria is especially poignant. Less than 3% of Africans have received a Covid-19 vaccination, and the World Health Organization (WHO) is worried that a third wave will cause havoc. “The worst is yet to come as the fast-moving third wave continues to gain speed and new ground,” Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s regional director for Africa said earlier this month.

“Global Citizen Live brings us back down to earth by reminding the global community that charity should begin at home and we must preserve our earth and be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers,” says Geoffrey Onyeama, foreign minister of Nigeria.

Global Citizen has form in getting things done though. It’s One World: Together At Home concert both raised spirits and encouraged people to stay at home during the worst months of the pandemic in April 2020. In June last year, its Unite for Our Future concert raised $8 billion for Covid causes.

In May this year, the organization hosted another event with Prince Harry and Meghan to encourage vaccine manufacturers to donate more doses to the world’s poorest countries. The event mobilized more than 26 million Covid-19 vaccine doses and $302 million to the ACT-Accelerator for equitable health access to countries most in need.

Tickets Announced Next Month

September’s event will be the first full-blown concert since the coronavirus pandemic. It is, in fact, a postponed and updated version of an event scheduled for September 2020 that was canceled due to Covid-19.

Organizers are bullish about going ahead this year. Details about how people can attend in person are due to be announced next month.

Covid-19 restrictions are still prevalent in most of the countries where the events are scheduled, with little indication of what will happen by September.

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