“Arise, Arise” – for one another and for global equity in vaccines.
That was the message delivered on Saturday by celebrities, political leaders and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during the Global Citizen Live festivities on the Great Lawn in Central Park.
The event was the Big Apple’s contribution to the international music festival to raise awareness for humanitarian causes, including the effort to provide COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries around the world.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended the Central Park show, joining UN leaders in amplifying the concert’s call for G7 and EU countries to share at least 1 billion doses of the COVID vaccine. 19 with countries in need.
The royal couple entered the show early, casually dressed in black with matching black masks, changing their wardrobes after showing up to the UN earlier in the day.
The show started off with a mix of Bob Marley melodies performed by an ensemble that included Cyndi Lauper, Jon Batiste and Billy Porter among others.
Lauper quickly took to the stage, dedicating her flagship song “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” to young Afghan women.
“Unbelievable,” enthusiastic Lauren Baker, 21, of Ohio, as she jumped on Lauper’s 1980s pop classic, sporting sparkling eye makeup and a t-shirt that read “Climate change, social justice”. Baker called Brooklyn-born Lauper “a feminist icon.”
Famous artists, royal guests, global goodwill, the beautiful early fall tune, and the long-awaited chance for many to see live music for the first time in over a year were the main draws of attendees here in New York.
“I am thrilled to be with people, to watch music, to enjoy the weather, to be in Central Park and in my hometown,” beamed Stella Gleitsman, 19, of Manhattan, a student at SUNY Purchase , before the show at East 72nd Street. entrance, where she stood in line while security guards checked IDs and vax cards.
Coldplay, Billie Eilish and Jennifer Lopez headlined the Central Park show, which also included performances by Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Lizzo and Meek Mill.
“I love Shawn Mendes. I immediately started crying, ”said Jaylin Valdez, 15, a resident of Monmouth County, NJ, of her performance of“ Senorita ”with Camila Cabello. ” I cried. “
“It’s great to see how they’ve brought everyone together to raise awareness about vaccinations and it’s important to be heard. “
Barbara Zobian, executive director of Candlelighters of New York City, an advocacy group for children with cancer, sang along with Lizzo’s “Juice” with 30 young patients and volunteers.
“She is fabulous. Lizzo is magnificent. I think she’s so good for women. It gives women a lot of confidence, ”Zobain said.
” Its magnificent. It’s wonderful to be around people who feel good, ”added the Manhattan resident.
“More than 75 percent of the more than 4 billion doses administered to date have taken place in just 10 countries, while only 1 percent of people in low-income countries have received a dose,” said the director general of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a statement. issued by concert organizers. “We cannot ignore this blatant injustice or become complacent. “
“I think (it’s) awesome,” smiled Julian Puello of Washingtonville, NY, a student at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh. Her tickets to the show, her very first concert, were a gift from her mother for her 18th birthday yesterday.
“I’m a vaccinated person, so I definitely encourage others to get vaccinated so we can get back to some sort of normalcy.”
Lisa Tokars, 37, traveled all the way from Hawaii for this celebrity affair.
“I won the tickets. I never win anything. I said I had to go. An hour later I booked my flight, ”Tokars said, adding that she was there for Coldplay, but also enjoyed J-Lo’s set.
“It’s amazing what they do. I love everything about how they go about raising awareness… the information is very easy to understand, ”added the mother of two.
“We need to vaccinate the countries of the world, the people who need it most… I think we are forgetting a lot of people. “
Mayor de Blasio took the floor to boo, as he touted New York’s environmental agenda.
“The COVID crisis has shown us what is possible when people work together for change,” the Democrat said.
“We will harness this power to protect our planet and everyone on it, especially the young… It will take bold changes. “
Additional concerts were held in London, Paris, Seoul and Sydney, among other cities. Headliners around the world included Duran Duran, Elton John, Demi Lovato, Metallica and Ed Sheeran.
The effort includes a global cast of celebrity presenters. Here in New York City, that list included Andy Cohen, Bridget Moynahan, and Dikembe Mutombo.
Event organizer Global Citizen was founded in 2008 by New York resident Hugh Evans under the name Global Poverty Project. Global Citizen today describes itself as “the world’s largest movement of actors and impact actors dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030”.