Philip Anschutz– founder of Coachella and owner of entertainment conglomerate AEG–is under fire again for being financially supportive of Anti-LGBTQ+ groups.
Anschutz has been in the news before for such allegations. As one of the richest men in America, he has donated to groups including the Alliance Defending Freedom Group, the National Christian Foundation and the Family Research Council.
The Family Research Council states on their website that they, “[believe] that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large.”
These groups have been considered “extremist groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is a twoweekend-long festival held in Indio, California that attracts over 100,000 people a year. This year, passes went on sale and sold out within hours. The festival itself is projected to bring in over $200 million in revenue, with additional costs including lodging, transportation, and other expenses, expected to add up to over $700 million this year.
“People should be educated where their money is going,” said Allison Boulware (‘20).
“Most people do not pay attention to who runs [these things]; they only care about who are going to be there.”
This point brings up the past of the music festival. Many concert goers had to choose between their views and wanting to see their favorite artists in concert. When Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar were headliners in years prior, people were eager to support, but weary because of allegations against Anschutz and his support for extremist groups.
“When I taught courses in Women’s and Gender Studies, I would remind students that we must examine art and cultural productions not only on the basis of what we can see, but what we can’t see,” said Donnesha Blake, Director of Diversity and Inclusion.
“If we want to be socially responsible consumers, we have to dig deeper to consider the values of the stakeholders behind the scenes.”
It is only a matter of time until Coachella kicks off festival season, running April 12-14 and April 19-21, with Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande as headliners. Only time will tell how this information about the festival’s founder will affect attendance.