Is this the real life or is this just fantasy?! That wasn’t just a line from Queen’s smash hit Bohemian Rhapsody, but it was a question that I asked myself as I opened that email that said I had won tickets to this year’s Global Citizen Festival! I had wanted so badly to go to this festival, I have been a massive Queen fan ever since I was in middle school and when I found out that they would be headlining this year I couldn’t contain myself!
The tickets were pretty pricey and I couldn’t really afford to be spending money on them, I had already seen Queen in concert when they came to Washington D.C., but I wanted to compare and contrast their performance for a festival . I just really wanted to see them, and like most millennials I had Fear Of Missing Out or FOMO. This entire year, I’ve been living with the old adage in mind ‘You only live once.’ I really loved the year I’ve had thus far – I saw Queen, I went back home after 15 years of absence, I met my new niece and I had a lot of fun hanging out with my friends – both where I live now, which is Maryland and my other home, New York.
When I won the ticket I was so elated because I won a Premium VIP Ticket, which meant I was pretty close to the stage, and who wouldn’t want to be super close to see Queen?! The ticket also included entering at a private entrance, having vendors separate from the general admission, and being in a separate section on The Great Lawn at Central Park.
I thought that the concert was incredible, Alicia Keys, Pharrell, and Queen were the main acts and of course everyone was excited about all of them.
Alicia Keys stuck out to me, I had never seen her live and was anxious to see what her performance would be like. Her energy was incredible and incompatible to the performers that came before her! She was an absolute delight and she even snuck some Aerosmith in her song set. Overall, Alicia owned the stage, her presence and beauty coupled with her elaborate piano playing was phenomenal!
After was Pharrell’s performance, to me it was just average and uneventful – at least is was from my section. Only a select few knew the songs that he was singing because we were true fans of his, however he ended his performance with Happy and the crowd went wild! I think at the point everyone was ready for Queen to come on.
….as in her majesty. -Feddie Mercury
Before the festival, I saw Queen at the Rhapsody Tour in my hometown of D.C. and they were fabulous- with the original guitarist, Brian May and the original drummer Rodger Taylor, along with Adam Lambert stepping in for the vocals, they formed Queen!
They were introduced by Rami Malik, the person who played Freddie in the biopic about the band – the role landed Malik an Oscar win! As always Adam had a larger than life stage presence and fashion aesthetic. They started off with the song ‘Now, I’m Here,’ the crowd went wild with the electrifying tones of the guitar and soulful sounds of the base. Their song set list included hits, like: ‘Another One Bits The Dust, ”Crazy Little Thing Called Love,’ and ‘Under Pressure.’ For the song ‘Love Of My Live,’ they “had to work a little magic” said by Brian May, and Freddie Mercury made an appearance, singing the song along side Brian, IT SENT CHILLS DOWN MY SPINE! It was so beautiful – the emotion on the field was apparent and everyone was crying (including myself). The footage that was played of Freddie sing was so precious!
Was It Worth The Money?
I personally think the experience was priceless, especially if you’re a huge fan of any of the performers. My ticket was worth about $175, however I won the ticket by entering on the website. I think that because I wanted to see Queen so badly I was willing to stand in multiple lines and withstand the sweltering heat. I was in a section that was isolated from the general admission and I was missing the comradery that festivals are really about! I say that if you are truly a fan of whom ever is playing, then you should pay for Global VIP, Premium VIP or Ultimate VIP. However, I feel that if you like festivals just because of the atmosphere, then you should get a General Admission tickets.
Did you go to the Global Citizen Festival?!