Why we can’t enjoy Beychella to the fullest
Clue: It has to do with Coachella's owner
Apr 16, 2018
Much as everyone in our office is fawning over Beyonce’s Coachella performance this year (a.k.a. Beychella), there’s a big part of the music festival that has us enjoying the two-hour-long production number just a little bit less. As our modern day patron saint of being #woke sang Freedom at the top of her powerful lungs, the shadow of Coachella’s founder and his shady questionable foundation loomed in the background.
Philip Anschutz is the owner of entertainment conglomerate AEG, and, with a net worth of $12.9 billion, he’s one of the richest people in America. He also happens to be the founder of Coachella.
Last year, the Post revealed that Anschutz has been funding groups actively motioning against LGBT rights in the United States. These organizations are the Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Christian Foundation, and the Family Research Council. Anschutz has since then released a statement saying that these allegations are false and that “neither I nor the Foundation fund any organization with the purpose or expectation that it would finance anti-LGBTQ initiatives, and when it has come to my attention or the attention of the Anschutz Foundation that certain organizations either the Foundation or I have funded have been supporting such causes, we have immediately ceased all contributions to such groups.”
Despite this strong statement, Pitchfork still reported that Anschutz Foundations’ tax filings reveal that Anschutz has been supporting more groups of the same nature since way back in 2015. The documents also show that the Foundation has been funding more extremist groups like the Federalist Society. The man also owns several media platforms that regularly promote climate change skepticism.
As if those aren’t concerning enough, one last confounding thing about Anschutz is his record of supporting anti-marijuana organizations and politicians. This one is actually pretty obvious since Coachella is pretty adamant that “No Drugs or Drug Paraphernalia, Marijuana, Marijuana products will be allowed” at the festival or on the campgrounds. Confounding because of all places, Coachella looks like the one festival that you’re sure to spot some marijuana.
Despite the urge to sweep all of these under the rug and just enjoy Beychella, there are real consequences for the marginalized parties affected by Anschutz supported extremist groups that make all of it an unavoidable bitter pill to swallow. These consequences come in the form of discrimination, kids forced into conversion camps, and rights taken away.
Maybe we can just convince ourselves that Beyonce’s performance was her sticking it to the man?
Photos courtesy of OutfrontMagazine.com, Femifalanablog.com, Musbizu.ng, People.com, and EDMTunes.com
Since the initial release of this story, AEG and Philip Anschutz have released their respective statements addressing the allegations.
STATEMENT FROM AEG: “AEG whole-heartedly embraces the LGBTQ community. Our recent support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and its vital work speaks to our organization’s true values.”
— AEG (@AEGworldwide) April 17, 2018
Statement from Philip Anschutz, Chairman of AEG: pic.twitter.com/zsNLRnE0Nd
— AEG (@AEGworldwide) April 17, 2018
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