Published August 20, 2012
NEW YORK – The Global Poverty Project is putting on a serious rock concert in Central Park on September 29, and you can go.
"It will be a concert of epic proportions," Hugh Evans, the co-founder and CEO of the Global Poverty Project, told Fox411.com. "We’ve got Neil Young with Crazy Horse, we’ve got the Foo Fighters, we’ve got the Black Keys, we’ve got K’Naan; all performing for free to support this campaign to eradicate poverty. People can actually come to the concert for free and earn tickets through the Global Citizens website.”
And Evans knows his blockbuster concerts, having put on his first at the age of 19 with a little band called U2.
“Back in 2006, myself and my friend Dan Adams, we ran a concert in Australia called Make Poverty History. It was a free concert and we thought it was going to be relatively small affair with just Australian artists involved. Then one day we got a call from Bono’s management from U2. He said, “Guys, I’m coming to Melbourne. I want to perform in your Make Poverty History concert. Is that all right?” And they want to perform with Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam."
But it's not about the rubbing elbows with big rock stars for Evans, who started the Global Poverty Project when he was still a teenager.
“At 14 years old, I was given the opportunity to go to the Philippines to see how development worked firsthand. There was a night that impacted my life in such a huge extent that I have never been the same again," Evans told us. "I was placed in the care of a guy my own age named Sonny Boy. He took me to his house that night. I’ll never forget lying there that whole night with myself, Sonny Boy and his whole family around us; the smell of rubbish around us and cockroaches crawling around. I didn’t sleep at all but it was a real awakening moment for me. I said you know it was pure chance that I was born where I was born and Sonny Boy was born into extreme poverty. Our roles could have been reversed.”
Evans returned to his homeland of Melbourne, Australia, with one burning desire: to rid the world of extreme poverty. Today Evans' Global Poverty Project is associated with many of entertainment’s heaviest hitters, including Hugh Jackman, who serves on the advisory board of the GPP.
“The Australian Prime Minister asked Hugh Jackman to chair The 2020 Summit a few years ago and I was asked to be the youth chair. Hugh thought I was a waiter at the stage. So he said to me 'Can I have a drink?'. I brought him a drink then he realized I wasn’t. We ended up having a conversation for three or four hours. By the end of it, he decided he wanted to help us start the GPP.”