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Coldplay to play India as anti-poverty concert expands

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NEW YORK: Rockers Coldplay will play their first-ever show in India in a free performance as the anti-poverty Global Citizen Festival on Friday announced an expansion.

The festival, which distributes tickets in return for individual actions to fight extreme poverty, said it would release further details Monday.

But it confirmed Coldplay’s participation and said the November 19 show in Mumbai would be free after press reports in India said the concert would be exorbitantly expensive.

The Global Citizen Festival, established in 2012, takes place each year in New York’s Central Park on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to push world leaders to put anti-poverty efforts high on the agenda.

“Just like our annual festival in Central Park, tickets to the Indian festival will be free. Fans will earn them through taking actions in support of education, equality and sanitation campaigns,” the festival said on its website.

It noted that the Mumbai concert would take place on World Toilet Day, which draws attention to sanitation problems.

While most Coldplay fans likely have indoor plumbing, around half of Indians do not have regular access to modern toilets, presenting a major public health hazard.

Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin serves as the creative director of the Global Citizen Festival.

India is not a new interest for Coldplay, whose video for “Hymn for the Weekend,” released in January, was shot in the country, although critics said it presented stereotypical images.

The latest New York edition of the Global Citizen Festival, to take place on September 24, will feature R&B superstar Rihanna, metal greats Metallica and leading rapper Kendrick Lamar.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared at the festival in 2014 to lend his support to its goals.

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