Skip to content

Foo Fighters, Black Keys, Neil Young Playing NYC Charity Fest

Foo Fighters / Black Keys (Photos by Getty Images)

New York City has a star-studded new charity concert coming to Central Park on September 29. Neil Young, Foo Fighters, Black Keys, Band of Horses, and K’naan will be converging on the Great Lawn for Global Festival 2012, the AP reports. The festival aims to fight poverty worldwide.

In keeping with the anti-poverty goal, event organizers aren’t offering tickets the conventional way. Instead, the Global Poverty Project is holding a lottery of 54,000 tickets, which would-be attendees can earn by signing up through the Global Citizen website and taking certain steps. These actions can be as modest as signing petitions, making posts via social media, or making charitable donations. After you earn points, you’re entered in a lottery for two free tickets.

The Global Poverty Project teamed with Coachella promoters Goldenvoice/AEG to set up the event, which is timed to coincide with the United Nations’ General Assembly in New York. The goal is to spur more than 50,000 people to action against extreme poverty and to generate more than $100,000 in new commitments to the cause from charities, business, and governments. According to Rolling Stone, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Sumner Redstone Charity Foundation will be footing most of the bill for the festival, in partnership with groups like UNICEF and Rotary International.

Young has a long history of social activism through his work with Farm Aid, his own Bridge School Benefits, and songs like Kent State-inspired “Ohio.” Foo Fighters are quoted as saying in a statement, “We are very proud to be lending a hand to such a creative, important event and are looking forward to adding to the noise in the big park and helping the effort toward reducing the global shame of deep poverty.” Black Keys have also been involved in a number of charitable efforts, including a nonprofit in their hometown of Akron, Ohio.

All of the musical acts are donating their time. Somalia-born rapper K’naan, for one, cautions against cynicism when it comes to the event’s ambitious goal. “While eradicating poverty sounds like a lofty concept, to not move towards it is to suggest contentment with inequality,” he told Rolling Stone. “That’s because, while poverty suggests many things about the people who live in it, what it suggests most about those who don’t is a sense of complacency with injustice.”