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Coachella Isn't All Flower Crowns And Day Drinking, The Festival Helps Fund Anti-LGBTQ Groups

We all know about all the amazing artists performing, but who is the man behind this spectacular festival?

Coachella Isn't All Flower Crowns And Day Drinking, The Festival Helps Fund Anti-LGBTQ Groups

Any hardcore music stans know what this week is: Coachella. Or, more formally, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, hosted in Indio, California. Coachella is two weekends in April where over 100 artists come out to perform. Thousands of people pay to go see all their favorite musicians in action, including the amazing Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, King Princess, and Billie Eilish. Here's the tea though: the cheapest pass to a weekend at Coachella is $429. Yes, it's pretty worth it considering just how many artists are performing, but who is the money going to?

Philip Frederick Anschutz is an American billionaire businessman who owns or controls various businesses in energy, railroads, real estate, sports, newspapers, moves, theaters, arenas, and music. Through AEG Live, he owns the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and is ranked as the 38th richest person in the United States by Forbes, as of 2019.

Right, so now that the surface level information is out of the way, who is Philip Anschutz? Well, apparently, this billionaire donates large sums of money to organizations including the Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Christian Foundation, and the Family Research Council. Naturally, everyone has the right to invest their money in whichever way they see fit, but who exactly is on the receiving end of Anschutz's donations?

The National Christian Foundation funds a variety of groups that aggressively work to chip away the rights of LGBT Americans. According to Freedom For All Americans (FFAA), the "bipartisan campaign to secure full non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide" that was founded in the wake of the Supreme Court Decision that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States, the immediate blowback for the decision was expected. However, with this blowback came a coordinated resistance to the decision, which led the FFAA to open an investigation to figure out the connection between the anti-LGBT movement around the country.

The FFAA observed that bills started popping up targeting members of the LGBT community, that were all nearly identical in language. They showed that 17 bills in 14 states were introduced to target transgender Americans, and they all used language that was nearly identical and based off of a model policy that ADF (the Alliance Defending Freedom) started pushing a few months prior. In total, there were about 200 anti-LGBT bills brought to the table in 34 states. The FFAA's research also found that the main hubs of this coordination were the Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Christian Foundation, and the Family Research Council. Sound familiar?

Oh, and, fun fact, the Family Research Council is listed as an "extremist group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, so…that's fun.

Anyways, despite multiple statements to the contrary (after a significant amount of pressure to #BoycottCoachella), Anschutz has been found to be one of the largest benefactors to these three extremely anti-LGBT organizations, in addition to a variety of other organizations including The Federalist Society, the conservative legal network given an unprecedented amount of influence in the choosing of federal judges.

So, while the show itself headlines a series of liberal, inclusive artists (including those who identify with the LGBT community, including King Princess and Hayley Kiyoko), the profits from the show go into funding groups that preach the complete opposite message. The question remains: is it worth it to support these artists if it means indirectly supporting Anschutz's political beliefs?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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