Me­tal­lica, Ri­hanna to head­line anti-poverty con­cert

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

HEAVY metal greats Me­tal­lica and pop su­per­star Ri­hanna will head­line the lat­est Global Ci­ti­zen Fes­ti­val, which will mo­bilise fans to fight the world’s most ex­treme poverty.

The fes­ti­val, to take place on Septem­ber 24 in New York’s Cen­tral Park, “sells” tick­ets based on ac­tions taken such as so­cial me­dia post­ings and let­ters to pro­mote devel­op­ment goals.

The fifth edi­tion of the fes­ti­val will fea­ture Me­tal­lica in one of only a hand­ful of 2016 shows by the pi­o­neer­ing thrash metal band, al­though ex­pec­ta­tions are build­ing that the group will re­lease a new al­bum within the year.

Ri­hanna, one of the most suc­cess­ful con­tem­po­rary pop singers, will play the Global Ci­ti­zen Fes­ti­val weeks after she is sched­uled to com­plete her “Anti” global tour.

Other head­lin­ers will in­clude pop sen­sa­tion Se­lena Gomez as well as Ma­jor Lazer, the crowd­pleas­ing elec­tronic out­fit whose “Lean On” is the most streamed song ever on Spo­tify.

Round­ing off the head­lin­ers will be Ken­drick La­mar, the in­tro­spec­tive and so­cially con­scious rap­per whose 2015 To Pimp a But­ter­fly has quickly en­tered the hip-hop canon.

Guest per­form­ers will in­clude R&B star Usher and Yusuf Is­lam, the folk rocker for­merly known as Cat Stevens.

“While much of the world’s great ci­ties are be­com­ing no-go ar­eas and ru­ins be­sieged by fear and di­vi­sive con­flicts, it’s great to see a global counter-move­ment for peace through re­bal­anc­ing of wealth be­yond pol­i­tics and to­wards hu­man equal­ity,” Yusuf said in a state­ment.

Cold­play vo­cal­ist Chris Martin, who has taken on a su­per­vi­sory role in the fes­ti­val, will also play, along with Pearl Jam front­man Ed­die Ved­der and English pop singer El­lie Gould­ing.

Bring­ing a more global touch to the lineup, the fes­ti­val will also fea­ture Yan­del, the popular Puerto Ri­can reg­gae­ton singer, and hosts will in­clude Bol­ly­wood star­let Priyanka Cho­pra and Mex­i­can-born Hol­ly­wood star Salma Hayek.

Tak­ing place each year around the time of the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly, when hun­dreds of world lead­ers con­verge on New York, the Global Ci­ti­zen Fes­ti­val seeks to put public pres­sure on gov­ern­ments over devel­op­ment as­sis­tance.

The lat­est fes­ti­val will put a fo­cus on en­cour­ag­ing equal ed­u­ca­tion for girls and refugee chil­dren – with lit­er­acy con­sid­ered a key pre­req­ui­site in the fight against poverty.

“I am par­tic­u­larly proud to be in­volved this year as the fo­cus is on ed­u­ca­tion. As an artist with many young fans, I be­lieve ev­ery­one has the right to an ed­u­ca­tion,” Gomez said in a state­ment.

Some 58 mil­lion ado­les­cents around the world are not in school, with the gaps es­pe­cially acute around Africa as well as in Pak­istan and Afghanistan, ac­cord­ing to the United Na­tions Chil­dren’s Fund.

This year, the fes­ti­val takes on a new level of ur­gency with the mi­grant cri­sis as hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple flee Syria and other war-rav­aged coun­tries.

Among ac­tions to earn points to­ward tick­ets, Twit­ter users can voice sup­port for a move­ment by Na­dia Mu­rad, a woman from the Yazidi mi­nor­ity in Iraq who en­dured three months of sex­ual slav­ery by the Is­lamic State group.

Mu­rad is lead­ing a bid to press the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court to iden­tify per­pe­tra­tors and try them on geno­cide charges.

The con­cert will be broad­cast in the United States on MSNBC and streamed in­ter­na­tion­ally on YouTube and iHeartRa­dio.

Last year’s fes­ti­val brought sur­prise ap­pear­ances by US First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den and Hol­ly­wood mega-star Leonardo DiCaprio.

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