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NYC’s biggest free concert expands with Global Citizen Week

Written by
Andrew Frisicano

Global Citizen Festival's huge free Central Park concert has become something of a fall staple. Last year, the event brought stadium-level musical acts including Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar to the Great Lawn. This year, the big show hosts Stevie Wonder, Green Day, the Killers and more on Saturday, September 23.

In addition to that concert, there's something else to look forward to this year, as the festival expands into a weeklong affair with Global Citizen Week. Running from September 17–23, Global Citizen Week features speakers, panels, activations and, yes, more concerts, all tying to the organization's work to end extreme poverty around the world. 

Kicking off the series is "Breaking the Silence: Beyond the Dream"an event that celebrates the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Beyond Vietnam speech—on September 17 at Riverside Church. On September 18, singer Annie Lennox will receive the George Harrison Global Citizen Award at a night that includes musical performances curated by Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello at NYU's Skirball Center. The same venue hosts a day of panels and discussions from a number of social, political and artistic thought leaders the following day. Andra Day, a Grammy nominee for her 2015 album Cheers to the Fall and its single "Rise Up," performs a concert on September 19 at Cadillac House.

Look for more concerts and events to be announced soon at, as well as ways to win tickets to the more intimate events. Like the main event, tickets are free but you'll have to earn them by pitching in on one of the nonprofit's causes, which include improving access to clean water, healthcare and education.

In a release Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, writes, "From September 17–23, Global Citizen Week will showcase the work being done by campaigners, entrepreneurs, artists and advocates from across the world. Working with innovative companies and governments, Global Citizens will turn New York into an arena of advocacy, calling on world leaders to deliver on their promises of a world without extreme poverty."

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