From the New York Times, writer Jon Pareles tells us more about the purpose for the concert.
Global Citizen, the Web site and festival, grew out of the Global Poverty Project, which strives to end extreme poverty: the situation of more than 1.4 billion people trying to subsist on less than $1.25 a day. The Global Poverty Project works with nongovernmental organizations worldwide, spanning education, women’s rights, public health, including providing mosquito nets and malaria treatment as well as training midwives to help eradicate polio in the three countries where it remains endemic. It was noted that Mr. Young is a polio survivor.
Concertgoers received free tickets by enrolling an e-mail address with Global Citizen and then performing certain actions through the Web site, including watching videos, spreading information via social media and doing something for a partner organization.
During equipment changes there were video clips, activists and celebrities — among them Katie Couric, Selena Gomez, Olivia Wilde and Katharine McPhee, as well as the economist Jeffrey D. Sachs — detailing poverty-related death tolls and efforts to change them. The concert’s hosts called for actions like sending a poverty-related tweet to the presidential candidates.
Leaders of organizations from India, Haiti and Somalia got rock-star-size ovations. But the audience was there for the music; Foo Fighters fans started shouting for the band before the Unicef pitch ended.