Central Park welcomes thousands for 'Global Citizen Live' festival

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Sixty thousand fans gathered in Central Park to dance to artists like Coldplay, Billie Eilish, Jennifer Lopez, and Lizzo as part of the 2021 Global Citizen Festival that took place in various cities around the world. The idea is to focus attention on millions who are hungry and the various urgent needs of developing countries.

Cyndi Lauper's 'True Colors' were obvious when she performed great music for a great cause.

"I'm a New Yawker. I was born here - it's great to play in Central Park, and it's great to play for New Yorkers and for the world," she said.

Jon Batiste explained his purpose for being here this way.

"There's an inspiration I can give you as a musician, entertainer, activist, performer, all of these things, right? And, that inspiration can spark your mind," Batiste said.

HOW TO WATCH: BTS, Jennifer Lopez among headliners for 'Global Citizen Live' on ABC
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BTS, Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo and Elton John are among those who will headline the "Global Citizen Live" highlights show on ABC this weekend.



The concert was free, but people had to earn their way in, as the CEO of Global Citizen Hugh Evans explained.

"The thing that makes Global Citizen unique is you can't buy a ticket, you have to earn your way. So, the 60,000 people here, as proud New Yorkers they took action. They sent tweets, they called on their members of Congress. They signed petitions, and they called on Washington to step-up," Evans said.

Celebrities also stepped up to b counted, donating their time and talent to help end extreme poverty.

"The message is about community. The message is about the people. We the people can make a difference," said Billy Porter.

"What they want to do is raise 6 billion dollars to end hunger, to plant a billion trees and to also get a billion vaccines to the people who need it most," said Padma Lakshmi.

The goals are lofty, but the stakes couldn't be higher.

"This is a moment in time. We need to stand up, and if we don't - bye bye," said Lauper.

You can find more information about the advocacy efforts behind the concert special at globalcitizenlive.org.

ABC News Live and Hulu will air the 24-hour event in full starting Saturday afternoon. A four-hour highlight show will air on FX on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET/PT | 2 p.m. CT.

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