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Black Keys, Foo Fighters + More Announced for 2012 Global Festival

Black Keys and Foo Fighters
Alberto E. Rodriguez / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

More than 40 years after George Harrison put together the all-star ‘Concert for Bangladesh,’ rock fans have become inured to the concept of stars coming together in order to combat societal ills — and these days, in order to really get attention, a charity festival has to have a pretty impressive lineup. Like, for instance, the 2012 Global Festival, scheduled for Sept. 29 in New York City’s Central Park.

For the show, which is being planned as part of an effort to combat global poverty, organizers lined up an all-star bill that’s set to include Foo Fighters, Black Keys, Band of Horses, Neil Young and K’naan. As Hugh Evans, a co-founder of the Global Poverty Project, put it to Rolling Stone: “We wanted to make it different from other benefit concerts — we didn’t want it to be the same as, say, Live 8. We wanted to do something unique for our generation.”

As Evans went on to explain, the fact that the festival is being held in a public space — and is therefore required to distribute its tickets for free via lottery system — allowed the Global Poverty Project to spread its message more effectively by creating an app, called Global Citizen, that enters users into the ticket lottery by, as Rolling Stone put it, “taking action for the various causes and charities represented by the event – from making donations to educating themselves in depth about various issues.”

“The standard model for this kind of event is you sell a ticket through Ticketmaster for $60 or $70 and a portion of that goes to charity,” explained Evans. “We wanted Global Festival to be about action, not money. By thinking different about how we distribute tickets, we’re building a movement.”

It’s a movement that appeals to artists like Young — who was one of the original Farm Aid organizers back in 1985 — and the Black Keys, whose blue-collar Midwest roots have given them firsthand experience with poverty’s effects. “All of us come from Ohio, so we grew up around working-class, hard-working people, but getting a global view makes you want to give back even more,” said the band’s manager, John Peets. “It just seemed to make a lot of sense: This is a cause we all felt was universal enough to get behind.”

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