Hosted in Indio, California, Coachella is one of the most popular musical festivals in the U.S., this year featuring artists such as Radiohead, Beyoncé, and Kendrick Lamar. Despite the infamous cultural appropriation always scattered throughout its crowds, Coachella is typically viewed as an indie/hipster/liberal music scene.
It turns out that the receiving end of the festival’s profits is far from that liberal image.
Coachella is produced by an organization called Goldenvoice, which is a part of the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). Citing the Washington Post’s list of “enemies of equality for LGBT Americans,” Uproxx reports that AEG creator Philip Anschutz donates a considerable chunk of the money he makes from Coachella and other properties to anti-LGBTQ organizations such as Alliance Defending Freedom, National Christian Foundation and Family Research Council.
In a news release issued by One Colorado and ProgressNow, two of Colorado’s leading advocacy organizations for LGBTQ equality, ProgressNow executive director Ian Silverii said that “the degree of [Anschutz’s] support for anti-LGBTQ groups . . . is shocking” and that Anschutz’s actions “put him on the wrong side of Colorado, and on the wrong side of history.”
In addition to donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to these groups, Anschutz has also supported Colorado’s Amendment 2, a piece of legislation which would have granted private property owners and employers the right to discriminate based on sexual orientation.
The AEG owner’s anti-progressive efforts don’t end there. According to Uproxx, Anschutz has “supported the cause of climate change denial through his foundation.” Additionally, as Greenpeace reports, he meets regularly with the Koch brothers, two notorious climate change deniers and anti-environmentalist activists, to discuss “strategy.” Anschutz has also demonstrated opposition to labor unions and evolutionary science.
So, will the artists scheduled to perform at this year’s festival still show up? And aspiring attendees, will you still be purchasing your tickets?