Words By: Lyssa Quallio
On Thursday June 26th, the 2014 Thank You Festival, originated by The Global Citizen Movement, continued their efforts to motivate and educate socially-active youth about the causes and consequences of extreme poverty. In doing so, they partnered with the World Childhood Foundation to bring out widely known EDM prodigies Tiësto, Above & Beyond, Krewella, Alvin Risk and Cedric Gervais for an empowering fundraising event that took place at The Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, Marlyand. The festival recognized the pivotal role of the U.S. foreign aid in helping to cut global child deaths by nearly one-half since 1990, and emphasized the topic of child survival and protection.
Beginning the nights festivities was Marseilles, French citizen and EDM enthusiast Cedric Gervais. Gervais is known for being the creator of the hit EDM track,‘Molly‘ which is a love story about a girl in the form of a club-smash. Madonna announced the track on stage at the 2012 Ultra Festival in front of 20,000 people and Pete Tong loved it so much he played it three times in a row on BBC Radio 1. The track was also the first track in a long time to really be the ‘stand-out’ record at the WMC Week in Miami back in 2012.
Even with the heat persisting, fans still showed up to watch Gervais as well as singer and producer Alvin Risk. But what was really fascinating about the performance by Risk was his ability to produce and mix the music while also singing on his tracks. His talent truly shined through his inspiring vocals.
While waiting for the next performance to begin, attendees suddenly heard the voice from one of the founders of the project. Speaking to the crowd, he shared with them exactly what they were doing for the fundraiser and how they were making a difference just by attending the fundraising festival. Check out a portion of his speech below:
Following the opening exhibitions for the evening you could feel the enchantment throughout the crowds for the ingenious EDM duo Krewella. These two sisters have more energy than 7 DJ’s combined. Aside from just putting on an incredible performance, the inspiring ladies went out of their way to make themselves a part of the festivities. Much like Alvin Risk, Jahan and Yasmine who also sang live while mixing their tracks to create a liveliness that made it almost impossible for fans not to dance their hearts out. Talent like this is rare and having the opportunity to witness it at such a meaningful music festival was truly exhilarating.
As the night persisted on, crowds were anxious and invigorated for the next performer of the night. The sun began to set and just as well, UK trance music group, Above & Beyond appeared on the stage, compromising of three guys; Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo Siljamäki. What stands out about this group is their ability to connect with the fans. While many EDM artists had eccentric and bizarre visuals taking place on a large screen above the set, Above & Beyond applied inspiring quotes on the screen as apart of their performance. To really understand the affect of these quotes on the audience, you would have definitely had to have been there. Try picturing thousands of people with their hands in the air, glowing faces and what looks like happy tears in their eyes… Above & Beyond were probably the only act to have had that kind of heartfelt impact on their followers.
Concluding the night’s merriment was Dutch musician & producer as well as a Grammy nominated and MTV award winner, Tiësto. Dubbed the “titan of trance” by The New York Times, it is easy to see why every single attendee at the function gathered to see his unimaginable performance. While watching a set such as this, it’s hard to not just stare in astonishment at his raw abilities to transition from each beat without you even noticing that he changed the song. Below is a short clip from a portion of the Tiësto performance.
During his attainment , the crowd was full of joyous smiles as people walked around hugging and dancing with strangers, as if nobody was watching.
This wasn’t just a concert with thousands of people there to watch a single performance. This type of a festival has become its own culture, comprised with an enlightening vision of a family. If you attend a gathering such as this and you leave without making any new friends or adding any new “Kandi” bracelets to your wrist, you are doing something wrong. An artist such as Tiësto promotes the true meaning of the festival: “Peace, Love and Unity.”
Music has always had a way of bringing people together, but having the ability to create a peaceful environment with astounding music while also giving to a good cause should be embraced and celebrated more often then not. After all, change doesn’t just happen over night, it takes courage as well as a common ground. I am not alone in saying; music really does care.
To take part in the Global Citizen and World Childhood Foundation you can visit their website at http://www.globalcitizen.org/