January 6, 2017 | Sex & Society

Is a major music fest helping fund anti-gay groups?

Philip AnshutzCalifornia's Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival -- better known as just Coachella -- is a major deal in the music world. It boasts some of the biggest names in music; this April it is being headlined by Beyoncé, Radiohead, and Kendrick Lamar. 

But some are warning that by buying a ticket to the event, you are possibly helping fund a whole lot of hate. Philip Anschutz, the owner of Coachella's parent company AEG, has been accused of donating money to several right-wing groups and anti-LGBT organizations, including The National Christian Foundation and the Family Research Council.

Anshutz said yesterday that he was in no way anti-gay.
 
“Recent claims published in the media that I am anti-LGBTQ are nothing more than fake news -- it is all garbage," he explained in a statement. " I unequivocally support the rights of all people without regard to sexual orientation. We are fortunate to employ a wealth of diverse individuals throughout our family of companies, all of whom are important to us -- the only criteria on which they are judged is the quality of their job performance; we do not tolerate discrimination in any form."
 
He then claimed that whenever an organization he was supporting was revealed to be working on anti-LGBT initiatives, he immediately withdrew any further contributions. (It has yet to be revealed how true this may be.)
 
Hardcore punk band Show Me the Body will be playing at Coachella. Lead singer Julian Ashwan Pratt was upset about taking "blood money" from a person who donated to "fascist" causes. He promised the band would donate its fees to an LGBT organization.
 
The festival has already sold out (as it does every year), though we doubt this news would have dented sales in any major way.

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