There’s Coldplay, Jay Z, Demi Lovato and The Vamps from abroad; and Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, A.R. Rahman, Ranveer Singh, Katrina Kaif and more from Indian filmdom to make the maiden edition of the Global Citizen Festival — expected to be attended by a crowd of around 80,000 here on Saturday — “a night to remember” with a cause at heart, say the organisers.
“It’s going to be a defining moment for India and for people who care about eradicating poverty in India. It will be an important event for the entertainment industry where you have the Indian community and western community coming together to kickstart a movement involving the youth,” Sabbas Joseph, Director, Wizcraft International Entertainment, which is producing GCFI here, told IANS.
A movement brought to India by Global Citizen, a social action platform, and The Global Education and Leadership Foundation (tGELF), an organisation focused on collective action for the planet’s betterment, the event will comprise a distinctive mix of events, grassroots activism, media campaigning and online activation, to catalyse India’s 15-year journey towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and to bring about the end of extreme poverty.
Joseph said: “It sets a platform where change can happen.”
Preparations have been on in full swing at MMRDA ground in the Bandra-Kurla Complex, with music fans in India eyeing it especially for the debut performance of British rock band Coldplay, which will play a full-show here. Frontman Chris Martin, who is also the curator of the gala, flew into India on November 16 to make sure the flow of events is smooth.
The stage backdrop is a red circle.
“The metaphor of the GCF is the red circle, and the stage is a red circle that has come together with lights and set. Within that, you will see artistes, films, communication about causes, initiatives and what each of the people are doing to elevate the problem. People will talk about women’s empowerment, how sanitation is about behavioural change and poverty,” said Joseph.
The presentation, he said, will be “larger than life”.
“There’s Amitabh Bachchan, A.R. Rahman, Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, Parineeti Chopra, Ranveer Singh — a very exciting line-up of people who matter the most in the Indian entertainment industry, on stage along with those from the western community.
“Coldplay is one of the most popular bands across the world, Jay Z has a huge fan following and Demi Lovato is the teen sensation of the world. Then there’s The Vamps. It looks like a night to remember, with the commitment that the event will be held every year for the next 15 years.”
As much as 80 per cent of its attendance for the fest has been given to fans who earn it for free by taking social good actions in support of health and sanitation, education and gender equality campaigns by way of ‘Action Journeys’. The rest of the tickets had gone on sale on BookMyShow, with some even priced at Rs 20,000. Limited early bird tickets were priced at Rs 5000 each.
Joseph is expecting a live audience of 75,000 to 80,000. For the rest, the event — scheduled to happen between 1:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. — will be broadcast live on VH1 and Voot.
The security for the event — which has a multi-national team working behind the scenes for six months — has been planned in a multi-layered manner.
“Easily, around 4,000 security personnel will be deployed to manage the crowd, traffic and celebrities. The Mumbai Police has been very supportive and co-operative. Then we have private security for the venue and personal security for the talent and celebrities to pull this off as per international standards.”
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
By Radhika Bhirani