Potential budget cuts under the Trump administration could prevent Global Citizen Festival from reaching its goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030, making nabbing tickets to the annual Central Park music event extra important to activists this year.
The sixth annual music fest hits the Great Lawn at Central Park on Sept. 23, gathering Green Day, Stevie Wonder, The Chainsmokers and other top artists to help raise awareness for worldwide social issues. Top on the docket this year: spreading the word on the need to maintain the $60 billion foreign affairs budget currently backing Global Citizen-supported food assistance programs.
Here’s why: Trump’s proposed 32 percent cut to current foreign affairs funding would leave the U.S. Agency for International Development — which provides famine relief, vaccines and child education services around the globe — and other groups that provide international aid scrambling to find backing.
If the budget cuts are approved, it would be “virtually impossible” for Global Citizen to reach its goal, Taara Rangarajan, director of campaign strategy for the group, said. Lacking access to health care and educational aid would make it very hard for an individual to end the cycle of poverty.
So, what does all this have to do with seeing Green Day belt out some of its hits from the early 2000s? If you want in on the fall festival, you’ll have to join in on the fight.
Rangarajan is encouraging music lovers to help by calling elected officials and standing against the potential drop in funding. If you do, you’ll be one step closer to winning a pair of free general admission festival tickets.
To continue in the running, you’ll also have to participate in three two-week “action journeys” on the Global Citizen app — For Freedom (Aug. 1 to 15), For Justice (Aug. 15 to 29) and For All (Aug. 29 to Sept. 12) — that will present opportunities to earn points. Once you earn at least 13 points, you’ll be able to enter the ticket drawing.
But don’t worry, the free festival really is, well, free. Most of the action items can be completed without spending a dime. Prompts range from tweeting about child health care in Uganda to calling Congress members and signing global equality petitions. You can earn one to two points for tweets and pledges, while calls will score you up to three.
Thousands of passes — awarded in pairs — will be sent out to fans periodically throughout the summer.
For more information on how to earn tickets, visit globalcitizenfestival.com.