Billie Eilish, Janelle Monáe, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pharrell Williams, Coldplay and Shawn Mendes are among the artists that will take the stage in a transcontinental concert that evokes Live Aid, which transfixed the world 35 years ago and raised millions to fight the famine in Ethiopia.
Dubbed “Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream,” the event, which is presented by nonprofit Global Citizen, aims to be the largest live broadcast in “cause event history.”
Slated for Sept. 26, 2020, Global Goal Live will span the world for 10-hours with performances in New York’s Central Park, Lagos, Nigeria, and cities in Latin America, Europe and Asia.
The undertaking is the brainchild of Global Citizen’s CEO Hugh Evans and Declan Kelly, the Chairman & CEO of global CEO advisory firm Teneo. Thursday, the two men officially kicked off a year-long effort to bring the event to life and raise money for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In 2015, 193 countries signed on to the SDGs, which create a global road map to eradicate poverty and protect the planet, with a 2030 deadline.
“We have ten years to end extreme poverty and tackle climate change. While we have seen significant progress, we will not be successful at our current pace. The scale of this problem - helping get 736 million people out of extreme poverty – will take everyone’s participation,” Evans said in a statement.
Evans and Kelly have already secured commitments from corporate chieftains, government leaders, lead production partner and promoter Live Nation and MGM Worldwide Television Group to oversee the global broadcast.
Fundraising to achieve the SDGs is a herculean task.
Global Citizen cites an estimate of an additional $350 billion needed annually to achieve the UN’s SDGs in the world’s 59 poorest countries. Global Citizen and Teneo are seeking to close that funding gap by calling on governments, philanthropists and companies to contribute more.
Teneo is leading an effort to expand the list of companies that have already committed to supporting the campaign, including Cisco, Verizon and Delta.
“We are building a coalition the likes of which the world has never seen to mobilize and engage millions of global citizens, governments, industry and individuals to redouble their efforts to achieve the Global Goals,” Kelly said.
Global Citizen and Teneo are reviving the idea of a transcontinental event at a time of historic global unrest and division – during a week that President Donald Trump expressed a skeptical view of globalism at the United Nations General Assembly. It’s also a time when American companies and their CEOs are speaking up on issues ranging from gun violence to economic inequality and being called upon by their customers and employees to effect change.
Global Goal is evoking the original 1985 Live Aid concert for a reason. It was the first of its size and impact, attracting about 170,000 concertgoers to a spectacle that was seen in more than 150 countries.
Irish singer and activist Bob Geldof and Scottish musician Midge Ure convened the world’s biggest entertainers – U2, Queen, Run-DMC and Led Zeppelin among them – to host dual concerts in London’s Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia’s John F. Kennedy Stadium. The event raised more than $200 million to combat famine in Ethiopia.