Global Citizen Festival 2013 live blog
The Cotton On Foundation has teamed up with the Global Poverty Project to bring you this year's Global Citizen Festival, held tonight on the lawn of Central Park in New York City.
Featuring performances by the likes of Stevie Woner, Alicia Keys, John Mayer and Kings of Leon, MTV is on ground in Melbourne, reporting live from the event's sister festival, to bring you all the highlights and more.
New Empire open the festival!
The lights go dim inside the Palais Theatre in St Kilda as Aussie band New Empire take to the stage to open the Melbourne festival.
The four-piece fronted by Jeremy Fowler kick things off with their hit single 'Give Me The World.'
"This is our first time in the beautiful Palais Theatre," Jeremy tells us. "It's such an honor to come and be a part of the Global Citizen Festival."
The band then treat the audience to a new track, 'Across the Oceans,' before performing a number of hits from their latest album 'Symmetry,' including crowd-favourite 'Ghosts.'
"We're so blessed to live in one of the best countries in the world," Jeremy continued "And what we love about Global Citizen is that it treats humanity as one, and that's something that connects us all."
Kings of Leon live from NYC
Around 60,000 people gathered in Central Park as Kings of Leon jump-started the party with their newest single, 'Supersoaker.'
Frontman Caleb Followill then took the crowd back to the band's earlier days, introducing fan-favourite 'The Bucket.'
"How you guys doin' out there?" Followill asked the audience. "We're so happy to be here."
Performing under a massive "O," the festival's logo, the band then moved onto one of their biggest hits, 'Don't Matter,' with Caleb sweating his way through an impressive guitar solo.
Rounding off the set with hits from their past, as well as new singles from their latest album, 'Mechanical Bull,' highlights included 'Family Tree' and 'Beautiful Wall.'
"What a thrill it is to be able to be a part of this. We learned about this a while back from friends in other bands, and it was kind of the first thing we all agreed we wanted to be a part of," Followill said.
"Thanks for having us, and hopefully today does something big and special."
Alicia Keys live from NYC
Strutting out on stage in a black evening dress and killer heels, R&B singer-songwriter Alicia Keys performed hit songs 'New Day,' 'You Don't Know My Name,' 'Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart,' and 'Listen to Your Heart.'
After performing 'Girl On Fire,' Keys said of the hit song: "[It's] the way to empower us women. Change us girls, and we can change the world. We're in a special place tonight, so I thought we'd talk about it."
Joined on stage by a posse of male dancers, the stunning songstress was also supported by a full live band and back-up singers.
"If we dont care about eachother, then who will?" Alicia asked the audience, before taking a seat at her piano to perform 'If I Ain't Got You.'
“Today is such a powerful day – symbolic of the way we can really do something to make the world closer to the way we want it," she shared on her website earlier in the day. "So many times it feels like we are stuck and don’t have any control over the world.
"Poverty is an injustice against our Global family. It denies people the basic right to necessities like food, clean water, health care, an education."
John Mayer live from NYC
Taking to the stage just after sunset, John Mayer opened his set with 'Wildfire,' showing off his guitar skills to draw attention to the issues surrounding global poverty.
Launching into his 'Paradise Valley' track, Mayer borrowed supporting vocals from two back-up singers before giving us the chills with an emotional guitar solo (we're not surprised Katy is smitten!).
'Waiting on the World to Change' turned Central Park into a city-wide karaoke event, as he took a few minutes to jam alongside his fans in the audience, before closing his set with 'Gravity.'
"It's nice to be here and sharing good," he said. "It makes us in exactly the same spot, I just have a guitar."
Stevie Wonder live from NYC
U2 frontman Bono served as an opening act for Stevie Wonder, who wowed the crowd with his hit songs including 'Superstition' and 'Isn't She Lovely.'
"This is a global celebration," Wonder yelled into the crowd. "We will end extreme world poverty in our lifetime."
Evermore close the Global Citizen Festival Australia
Closing the inaugural show for 2013, ARIA chart topping New Zealand outfit Evermore bounced onto the stage with their new single 'One Love.'
Produced exclusively for The Global Poverty Project, all profits from the sale of the track will go to the charity as well as the Cotton On Foundation. So be sure to pick yourself up a copy available from iTunes and all Cotton On stores.
The Global Citizen Festival Australia is brought to you by the Global Poverty Project and the Cotton On Foundation.
Want to do your part? Sign up to the Cotton On Foundation website www.cottononfoundation.org and help them educate 20,000 Ugandan kids by 2020.
And don't forget to join the social conversation using the official hashtags
#cottononfoundation #glblctzn #globalcitizen #weempower #weendpoverty and #gpp.