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Give back for a great concert with Global Festival

Singer K'naan (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Singer K'naan (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images) Credit: Singer K'naan (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Central Park's Great Lawn has played host to many memorable concerts over the years, from artists like Simon & Garfunkel, Diana Ross and Garth Brooks.

But this year's Global Festival is something the park hasn't seen before.

The event, which takes place on Sept. 29, features Neil Young, K'naan and the Foo Fighters and is designed to reduce global poverty.

Tickets are free, but fans can only get them by signing up at, then earning points by supporting an anti-poverty organization.

The more points you earn, the more chances you have to win tickets.

amNY spoke with Hugh Evans, CEO of the Global Poverty Project.

How did the Global Festival come together? [Global Festival co-founder] Ryan Gall had the idea and asked me to work with him on it. The Parks Department generously gave us Central Park. Then we approached these amazing artists, who all agreed to perform for free. But we didn't want this to be just another concert. We wanted it to be unique.

How did you develop the points system for tickets? Usually tickets to events in Central Park are given away free. The problem with that is you have a great event, but you don't create lasting change. People have to qualify by their actions, like sharing content on social media or signing petitions in support of the charities involved.

What do you hope to accomplish? We're deliberately doing this event to coincide with 193 world leaders being in town for the U.N. General Assembly. We're encouraging world leaders to make $500 million in tangible, new financial commitments to the world's poor. That's why the petitions and the online platform are so important. People are posting at the globalcitizen hashtag every minute of every day, encouraging world leaders to do something significant. 

If you go: Global Festival 2012 is on Sept. 29 at the Great Lawn in Central Park, 5 p.m. To get tickets, visit

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