Jennifer Lopez Coldplay Billie Eilish
© Getty Images; GC Images
Coldplay, Billie Eilish and Jennifer Lopez are among the performers scheduled to take the stage beginning at 4 p.m. on Central Park's Great Lawn in New York City.
"Get up, stand up" - for each other and for global vaccine equity.

That was the message delivered Saturday by celebrities, political leaders and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during Global Citizen Live festivities on the Great Lawn on Central Park.

The event was the Big Apple's contribution to the international music festival to raise awareness for humanitarian causes, including the effort to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to poverty-stricken nations around the world.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended the Central Park show, joining UN leaders to amplify the concert's call for G7 and EU nations to share at least 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses with needy nations.

The royal couple entered the show early, dressed casually in black with matching black masks, making a wardrobe change after appearing at the UN earlier in the day.

The show began with a medley of Bob Marley tunes performed by an ensemble that included Cyndi Lauper, Jon Batiste and Billy Porter, among others.


Comment: One can only assume Bob Marley is rolling in his grave.


Lauper soon took over the stage, dedicating her signature song "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" to the young women of Afghanistan.

"Incredible," enthused Lauren Baker, 21, of Ohio, as she bopped to Lauper's 1980s pop classic, sporting sparkling eye make-up and a T-shirt that read "Climate Change, Social Justice." Baker called Lauper, a Brooklyn native, "a feminist icon."

Celebrity performers, royal guests, global goodwill, beautiful early-autumn air and a long-awaited chance for many people to see live music for the first time in more than a year were top draws for attendees here in New York City.

"I'm excited to be with people, watch music, enjoy the weather, be in Central Park and in my hometown," beamed Stella Gleitsman, 19, of Manhattan, a student at SUNY Purchase, before the show at the East 72nd Street entrance, where she stood in line as security guards checked IDs and vax cards.

Coldplay, Billie Eilish and Jennifer Lopez headlined the Central Park show, which also featured performances by Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Lizzo and Meek Mill.

"I love Shawn Mendes. I immediately started crying," said Monmouth County, NJ resident Jaylin Valdez, 15, about his performance of "Senorita," with Camila Cabello. "I cried."

"It's awesome how they gathered everyone to bring more awareness to vaccinations and it's important to be heard."


Comment: Is anyone on the planet still unaware of vaccinations? Is anyone in the pro-vaccine camp having difficulty being heard?


Barbara Zobian, the executive director of Candlelighters of New York City, a child cancer patient advocate group, was singing along to Lizzo's "Juice," with 30 young patients and volunteers.

"She's fabulous. Lizzo is wonderful. I think she's so good for women. She gives women a lot of confidence," Zobain said.

"It's magnificent. It's wonderful to be around people who feel good," the Manhattan resident added.

"Over 75 percent of the more than 4 billion doses administered to date have occurred in just 10 countries while only 1 percent of people in low-income countries have received a dose," WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement issued by concert organizers. "We cannot disregard this gross inequity or become complacent."

"I think (it's) awesome," smiled Julian Puello of Washingtonville, N.Y., a student at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh. His tickets to the show, his first ever concert, were a gift from his mom for his 18th birthday yesterday.

"I'm a vaccinated person so I definitely encourage others to get the vaccine so we can go back to some sort of normalcy."

Lisa Tokars, 37, flew all the way from Hawaii for the star-studded affair.

"I won the tickets. I never win anything. I said I had to go. An hour later I booked my flight," Tokars said, adding she was there for Coldplay, but also appreciated J-Lo's set.

"It's amazing what they're doing. I love everything about how they go about bringing awareness...the information is very easy to understand," the mother of two added.

"We need to get vaccinations to the world countries, the people who need it the most...I think we are forgetting about a lot of people."

Mayor de Blasio took the stage to boos, as he touted New York's environmental agenda.

"The COVID crisis showed us what is possible when people work together for change," the Democrat said.

"We are going to harness that power to protect our planet and every person on it, especially the young people ... It will take bold change."


Comment: So, climate lockdowns, then. Good to know.


Additional concerts took place in London, Paris, Seoul and Sydney, among other cities. Headliners around the world included Duran Duran, Elton John, Demi Lovato, Metallica and Ed Sheeran.

The effort includes a global cast of celebrity presenters. Here in New York, that list featured Andy Cohen, Bridget Moynahan and Dikembe Mutombo.

Event organizer Global Citizen was founded in 2008 by New York City resident Hugh Evans as the Global Poverty Project. Global Citizen today describes itself as "the world's largest movement of action takers and impact makers dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030."