In honor of Veterans Day, chart-topping musical artists from Rihanna to Bruce Springsteen will take the stage at the National Mall for a concert Nov. 11. Hosted by Starbucks and HBO, the free concert is expected to attract as many as 800,000 attendees, according to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
“Our goal is to raise awareness of veterans support organizations dedicated to education, health, and wellness, employment and reintergration,” Courtney L’Ecuyer of Starbucks media press relations wrote in an email.
Although the concert, called the Concert for Valor, will be held at the Mall, the National Park Service is not involved in planning the event.
“The National Park Service is merely providing the location for the concert through a permit to HBO,” Michael Litterst, Public Affairs Officer of the National Mall, wrote in an email.
A three-hour special, the concert will feature performances from The Black Keys, Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, Dave Grohl, Eminem, Jennifer Hudson, Jessie J, Metallica, Rihanna and The Zac Brown Band. Producers for the event include Jamie Foxx, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, John Oliver and Bob Woodruff will serve as hosts.
The concert will be live streamed on HBO’s twitter page and on the Concert for Valor webpage. Additionally, it will be played on TV on the HBO channel, open to nonsubscribers and iHeartRadio will stream the musical performances on the radio.
Although attendance to the concert will be free, the event will offer opportunities for attendees to donate to veterans service organizations.
“The concert will enable Americans to contribute funds or volunteer time directly to the many veterans service organizations that can help create successful transitions for veterans and their families. We have not set a donation goal, but we hope that viewers and attendees will embrace the cause and contribute generously,” L’Ecuyer wrote.
According to Genevieve Billia, public affairs specialist for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department for Veterans is not affiliated with the event.
Josh Grubbs (GRD ’15), the media director for the Georgetown University Student Veteran Association, praised the event, and said that he knew of several members of GUSVA who were planning on attending.
“This is another great opportunity that comes from living in D.C., and we are excited to have the chance to attend,” Grubbs wrote.
Although the event planners will be collecting donations, the event’s purpose is primarily to celebrate and honor U.S. veterans for their service.
“This isn’t a charity event; it is a way to celebrate our nation’s veterans and bring veterans together with the society they serve or served,” Grubbs wrote in an email.
In order to accommodate the mass influx of people entering the National Mall, Metro will provide more frequent trains at rush-hour schedule before and after the concert.
Georgetown students expressed their excitement for the upcoming concert.
“It’s inspiring to see how much power music has to bring people together, especially for such a worthy cause,” Jane Mikus (COL ’18) said.
Jessica Andino (COL ’18) said that she would consider attending.
“With artists like Eminem and Rihanna there, I would be interested in going for sure,” she said. “I think more younger people will be included to go, regardless of it being Veterans Day. They would just go for the artists.”
The concert will begin at 7 p.m., and attendants will be permitted to enter starting at 10 a.m. Before the concert, GUSVA will hold a Veterans Day Ceremony on Healy Lawn at 3:30 p.m.