Chris Martin Pledges 15 Years To Global Citizen To Boost Org

Beyoncé? Jay Z? Rihanna? You should expect a call from Chris Martin about the Global Citizen Festival in the near future.

The Coldplay frontman plans to use his famous rolodex – and perhaps his talents – to curate festivals around the world for Global Citizen, the nonprofit which aims to eradicate extreme poverty by the year 2030.

Photo: Scott Roth/Invision/AP
Left with Amina J Mohammed and Hugh Evans at the Global Citizen 2015 media luncheon in New York.

And Martin is giving a 15-year commitment to Global Citizen to get the work done. The timeline mirrors the United Nations’ soon-to-be unveiled Sustainable Development Goals, which are designed to fight poverty, injustice and protect the environment.

“I always felt that as musicians we show up for a day . and we really believe what we are talking about but then the next day we have our own concerns as do all of you,” Martin told a group of journalists at an intimate lunch in Tribeca on Friday. “So it just felt like if the United Nations is signing up for something for 15 years then we should too.”

Global Citizen has held an annual concert in Central Park in September since 2012, with lineups that have included superstars like Stevie Wonder, Jay Z and Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, the Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon. The group plans to have more concert festivals around the world in addition to the Central Park one; a concert on the mall of Washington is planned for April, with the lineup to be announced later this month.

Martin doesn’t anticipate these events to be Coldplay events: “No, God no – I don’t want to upset everyone in the world,” he joked.

“I mean, sometimes our group will play if nobody else says yes but my hope is that we don’t have to play at all,” he said. “My strength is just call on my friends and to ahead of time work out who is going to get the most people listening in Ethiopia, or which German pop star will sound most convincing talking about poverty.”

When asked if this was his Bono moment, Martin kept up the self-deprecating jokes: “Everything I do is a Bono moment, certainly that’s clear after 15 years.”

He added:

“Sometimes in music being influenced by someone is seen as a kind of plagiarism when it’s really just a form of inspiration, so it is a Bono moment but I’m not going to start wearing shades,” he said.

Also present at the luncheon was Hugh Evans, the CEO of the Global Poverty Project; Amina J. Mohammed, special advisory of the Secretary-General on post-2015 development planning, and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Richard Curtis, who is the creative director of the 2015 festival.

“I can promise you that some of the people involved will be very good at signing . some of the people involved will be good at playing the guitar and some people involved will move in attractive ways to music,” he joked.