I have always wanted to go to Coachella. The music, the fashion and the overall experience have always been really appealing to me. After seeing the lineup, I seriously considered going this year, and bargained with myself about saving up for tickets and transportation. I’ve seen far too many posts on my Instagram to experience FOMO (fear of missing out) to reaffirm my wanting to go.
However, that all changed when I read news about the man who owns the festival.
A quick internet search affirms that Phil Anschutz has been a frequent donor to organizations and political candidates that are anti-climate change, anti-union and anti-LGBTQ+ among other things. Although he has released a statement calling such accusations “fake news," it’s really not difficult to look online for the records that prove otherwise.
This news sits with me uncomfortably. As much as I’d love to see so many of my favorite musical artists in one place, I couldn’t attend the festival comfortably knowing what the owner supports such things that disagree with.
Speaking of the musical guests, you may be wondering how I feel about them performing at the festival. Although I disagree with the festival as a whole, I don’t think the artists are bad people for performing. I don’t think my friends and acquaintances who go are bad people, or that they inherently support the things that the CEO does. I understand the hype around Coachella, and to be honest I would still love to go ... maybe someday if the festival comes under different leadership.
With it being festival season and Coachella weekend one in full effect, I’m seeing plenty of it on social media. It hurts my heart just a little watching others go and watching my favorite bands and singers perform.
However, I have to stay true to my values, and not give my money to a man like Phil Anschutz. For now I’m satisfied watching streams of the performances on YouTube for free.