Welp, It’s Time To Boycott Coachella

Carl Williott | January 5, 2017 9:27 am

UPDATE (1/6/17): Anschutz has responded, saying he ceased funding groups that were found to be anti-LGBTQ.

Just when it looked like Coachella was the all-conquering American festival, landing Beyoncé, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar as headliners for this year’s iteration, it’s gone and found itself in a political firestorm similar to the one that plagued Chick-fil-A a few years ago. Afropunk points out that the head of Coachella’s parent company is a hardcore right-wing monster who donates to anti-LGBTQ groups and supports climate change denial (here’s a cached version of their initial post).

Philip Anschutz is the owner of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the parent company of Coachella and Panorama organizer Goldenvoice. Back in July, the Washington Post ran an op-ed mentioning Anschutz’s financial backing of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has opposed gay rights across the country. He has also reportedly given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the ultra-conservative, anti-LGBTQ National Christian Foundation, Family Research Council and Mission American Foundation in recent years.

“The degree of his support for anti-LGBTQ groups that fund extremist hate groups like Gordon Kligenschmitt’s ‘Pray in Jesus Name’ is shocking,” ProgressNow Colorado said back in July, when most of this came to light. But it wasn’t until the Coachella lineup was announced this week that Afropunk highlighted the obvious moral quandary, and the story gained traction in the music world. (Fact then pointed out he backs climate change denial science and anti-union groups as well.)

This means it’s time to reconsider your festival plans, or otherwise organize to make sure the three headliners — who have a proud history of using their platforms to make progressive political statements — realize they need to speak out when they take the stage in Indio in April.