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Cardi B, The Weeknd, others to headline Global Citizen Festival in Central Park

Cardi B is set to return to the stage during Global Citizen Festival. / Getty Images / David Becker

Global Citizen Festival, the annual concert for a cause at Central Park, is back next month with a stacked lineup of performers you’ll have the chance to see for free.

Each year, advocacy organization Global Citizen organizes the one-night concert event to raise awareness for various political and social issues. This year’s focus remains on maintaining the $60 billion foreign affairs budget that backs food assistance programs across the globe, as well as raising funds for mothers and children who die from preventable pregnancy-related diseases.

Since entry is free, Global Citizen Festival relies on fan participation to drum up the political conversation: ticket seekers are asked to “earn” their way in by calling local officials and tweeting about causes through the GCF app.

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Got all that? Now for the good stuff. Here’s who’s performing at the Sept. 29 event on the Great Lawn at Central Park this year.

Janet Jackson

John Legend has been announced as a special guest performer for the Global Citizen Festival.

Didn’t catch Janet Jackson at Panorama? The “Rhythm Nation” singer returns to the stage nearly a month after her State of the World tour comes to a close this August. There’s a chance she’ll channel her tour energy again when she hits Central Park; her opening number featured “The Skin Game (Part 1),” and focused on racism, police brutality and white supremacists in America.

Cardi B

With the Bronx-born rapper set as a headliner, the Manhattan festival just might be her return to the stage. Cardi B backed out of her scheduled tour with Bruno Mars (set to hit NYC in October), saying she just wasn’t ready “mentally and physically” to leave her newborn daughter Kulture.

The Weeknd

It’s a pretty huge year festival-wise for The Weeknd. As if headlining Lollapalooza, Milwaukee Summerfest and Coachella weren’t enough, the “Starboy” is adding GCF to his 2018 roster.

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Janelle Monae

The Grammy-nominated singer is also racking up her 2018 headliner credits. She’ll hit Central Park fresh off her Afropunk performance, set for later this month, and Bustle’s Rule Breakers show in Prospect Park on Sept. 22.

Shawn Mendes

Mendes fans, rejoice. The singer wasn’t supposed to stop by NYC until his Barclays Center concert in August 2019. Those who thought they’d have to wait a year to see him might want to enter the ticket lottery as soon as possible.

John Legend

Not quite a headliner, but GCF promises a special guest performance by the “All of Me” singer.