Global Citizen Festival Sets Sights on Johannesburg Expansion

Chris Martin - 2017 BC Place Performance - Getty - H 2018
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Coldplay's Chris Martin, who curates the event, was spotted in Johannesburg with his manager and executive producer for Global Citizen, Dave Holmes, and Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans on Monday.

Global Citizen Festival — the music advocacy event curated by Coldplay's Chris Martin — is reportedly looking to expand with a Johannesburg offering before the close of 2018.

Sources indicate to Billboard that the festival, which was launched in 2012 by Global Citizen and brought Martin on as its official curator in 2015, is eying plans for an event in South Africa.

Martin was spotted in Johannesburg with his manager and executive producer for Global Citizen, Dave Holmes, and Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans on Monday. They're also rumored to be attending a dinner hosted by South African philanthropists Patrice and Precious Motsepe on April 16.

South African ties to Global Citizen are strong: The advocacy group has previously worked with Nelson Mandela's grandson, Kweku, who spoke on the legacy of the late South African president and revolutionary human rights activist at the 2017 Global Citizen Festival in New York. At the 2018 World Economic Forum, Usher touched on how Mandela inspired the goal of Global Citizen to bring global poverty to an end by 2030. (Martin's 15-year commitment to the organization syncs up with this end date in mind.)

Mandela, who died in Johannesburg in 2013 at the age of 95, would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year, a milestone that could account for Global Citizen's desire to further its mission in the city he called home.

Global Citizen hosts an annual festival in New York City, and the organization added additional events in Mumbai, India, in 2016 and Hamburg, Germany, in 2017. Each Global Citizen event requires attendees to earn their tickets through the completion of social actions via the festival's app, such as signing petitions or contacting legislators. 

Coldplay has performed multiple sets at Global Citizen throughout the years, and Beyonce, Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams and more have all lent their voices to further Global Citizen's cause since the foundation of the festival.

This story first appeared on billboard.com