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Thousands Gather For Star-Studded Global Citizen Festival

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Crowds packed Central Park all day and night for the annual Global Citizen Festival.

Thousands came together for the star-studded event with a much bigger goal in mind. This year's festival will be headlined by Queen and Adam Lambert, Pharrell Williams, and Alicia Keys.

The festival takes on the heels of the U.N. General Assembly and many of the global themes discussed by world leaders were front and center at the event, including climate change.

The tickets are free but to get in participants have to perform good works or promote the causes of the organization.

Music was the instrument uniting more than 60,000 people who filled the great lawn for the eighth annual event.

"Change doesn't come from the top down. Change comes from the grass roots up and every one of you is the solution," Mayor Bill de Blasio told the crown.

The Global Citizen movement is aimed at pressuring world leaders to end extreme poverty by 2030.

"In third grade I wrote a letter to the United Nations about poverty and I just feel connected to it because it's really important to me," Akoao Nebiyu said.

The nine-year-old and her mother told CBS2 they've attended the festival together for years.

"I feel that it's very important to have kids get involved early on and it seems like they are. So we come and celebrate and not forget the reason that we're here," Elsa Fessahaye said.

Among the themes of this year's concert is women empowerment and infectious diseases.

"If we don't make a change about climate change soon, there's not going to be any reverse back so we need to make a change soon," Leia McCarron on Orange County, New York said.

"We can obviously do simple things like stop using plastic water bottles and not using plastic utensils if you don't need them, if it's not really important, we could just stop," Layla Barthwal added.

Barthwal and Eden Weiss say they traveled with their classmates from the Ranney School in Tinton Falls, New Jersey to attend the festival and promote change.

"We think advertising on social media, and things like that is really important, spreading the message because the more people that do it, the more it gets around," Weiss told CBS2's Matt Kozar.

Organizers say next year's festival will be even bigger. They're dubbing it "Global Goal Live." It will be a 10-hour event broadcast globally at multiple locations.

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