Willie Geist and Tamron Hall on Importance of Global Citizen Festival: "It Offers Optimism and Action" | NBC Chicago

Willie Geist and Tamron Hall on Importance of Global Citizen Festival: "It Offers Optimism and Action"

"You have to earn a ticket there. You earn your seat this table, and I think that in a world that people believe again that we do a lot of talking and complaining, it offers optimism," Hall said.

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    Willie Geist and Tamron Hall are hosting the annual Global Citizen Festival in Central Park Saturday.

    One of the hottest concerts of the year will be taking place on Sept. 24, but you're going to have to earn your spot.

    Willie Geist and Tamron Hall are hosting the annual Global Citizen Festival in Central Park Saturday, and they spoke about the charity event in which attendees have to volunteer for a cause in order to get a ticket.

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    The event, which includes Demi Lovato, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Major Lazer and many more, is put on to fight against global poverty. But what makes it feel even more special, Hall tells us, is how one ends up securing a spot in the audience.

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    "You have to earn a ticket there. You earn your seat this table, and I think that in a world that people believe again that we do a lot of talking and complaining, it offers optimism. It offers action," Hall says. "You know the people standing around you jamming to the music, they earned a seat at the table. There's nothing like that. You earn it not through connections. You earn it because you volunteered and did something."

    Of course, the all-star lineup certainly will get people up and moving, but there is more to it than that. In addition to trying to eradicate global poverty, celebrities and attendees are doing what they can to fight against various social and economic problems, including women's equality.

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    "I do think it's become a sort of magnet for different celebrities, and they come to it with whatever their cause may be," Geist adds. "They come for that principle cause of poverty and they can bring their own efforts to it and sort of broaden it out a little bit."

    Another cause that struck a chord with Hall is violence against women. While attending the very first Global Citizen Festival in 2012, Hall met two girls aged 15 and 16, who were raising money to provide toilets for girls in South Africa. "They started rattling off these stats about the number of girls that were raped just walking to a sanitary place to go to the bathroom. I couldn't believe it," Hall says.

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    "A 15- and 16-year-old knew about the crisis and then decided to take action to make sure another girl would not be a victim of violence on the other side of the world."

    She continues, "We like to generalize and we like to make anyone under 30 a person who only cares about selfies. This is proof. In reality the thousands of people there that year and the years after weren't just there for Beyonce; they're there because they believe in this movement. They believe they can be part of the solution."

    With (wo)man power like that and celebrity power to boot, both Geist and Hall know that the Festival will only get better. "It's the people who come to the platform that grab you're attention...once you're in the room you hear about what they're doing and you're in," Geist says. "You can't help but be hooked by it."

    "Frankly, because you have these huge names who put their signature on it, and they stamp it and they put their reputations behind it and that draws more eyeballs," Geist adds. "It grows and it grows and it's not going to stop...They're all there for the right reasons. I think people feel good about watching it and being a part of it."

    The Global Citizen Festival airs Sept. 24 at 3 p.m. on MSNBC.

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