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Coachella Requires A Whole Lot Of Money For A Moral Dilemma

Weigh the pros and cons: see your favorite artists for a weekend or have your money go to a man who supports limiting equal rights for all human beings...

Coachella Requires A Whole Lot Of Money For A Moral Dilemma

If you saw my last article, you now know the facts on who runs Coachella: Philip Anschutz, the billionaire businessman who… happens to be an extremely right-wing conservative man against LGBT rights. Phil Anschutz owns a series of businesses, including those involved in real estate, energy, railroads, sports, movies, theaters, in addition to AEG Live, through which he owns the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Recently, with all the information that has surfaced in regards to Anschutz and his spending habits, more and more people on social media have been encouraging the boycott of Coachella, not wanting to play a role in Anschutz's donations to various anti-LGBT organizations, including the Family Research Council, the Alliance Defending Freedom, and the National Christian Foundation. Despite this knowledge (which is still not as widespread as it should be, in my opinion), thousands of people still attend the music festival every year, begging the question: is it worth it?

So here's the tea: the cheapest pass to one weekend at Coachella is $429. However, each weekend hosts over 100 artists for people to watch perform. Everyone is concerned about how the owner donates a large amount to anti-LGBT organizations, but the artists who perform make sure to make a statement about how supportive, inclusive, and pro-LGBT they are (anyone see Ariana Grande ending her performance with a giant rainbow flag?). Anschutz claims that any news about him being anti-LGBT is "fake news", but his tax returns don't really hide much about the identities of the recipients of his donations.

Naturally, many artists have chosen not to perform at this festival in order to protest the man behind it all. The artists who do choose to perform make sure to hide nothing from their fans, or from the man hiding them. Openly queer artists have performed, for example, King Princess and Hayley Kiyoko, and, as I previously mentioned, artists who very clearly support the equal rights of all people happen to be the ones headlining the festival.

In addition to this, how much money does Anschutz really make off of the festival as a whole? Ariana Grande headlined this year's festival, and she was reportedly paid $8 million to do it. Coachella makes around $100 million a year, but if over 100 artists are performing, the owner can't be pulling a huge profit off of it, right?

Here's what I think. Regardless of how many people spread the #BoycottCoachella and how many people decide to protest the festival because of who owns it, others are going to pay the money to go enjoy performances by their favorite artists all weekend anyway. Does that mean that they support all of Anschutz's political beliefs? Doubtful—they just want to enjoy watching their favorite musicians perform. The artists that do perform don't support his political views either—they're extremely open about who they are and what they believe in, and they are asked to perform (and proceed to do so) regardless.

And here's the thing:

Even if no one decided to go to Coachella, that would not stop Philip Anschutz from making donations to whatever companies or organizations he wants to support. The man is worth $11.1 billion and owns enough businesses to keep donating, even without the (unknown, but probably not too high) profit he makes off of Coachella. Not having anyone go to Coachella would likely make a statement, but the intrigue of that many artists gathered in one place for an entire weekend will always attract fans. While I personally think that the hype behind Coachella is a bit overrated, I do see the appeal, and I would honestly not be too surprised if I found myself out there in a few years. Letting my money go towards a man with beliefs that completely contradict my own is not how I would prefer to spend, but I would rather think about how the experience would personally affect my life and how I would be supporting artists that are meaningful to me.
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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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