Girls enjoying Coachella festival, Indio. 2016 - Credits : Coachella

Coachella’ owner has funded anti-LGBT organizations

Alexandre Trochut
Girls enjoying Coachella festival, Indio. 2016 - Credits : Coachella

Several american websites have revealed that Philip Anschutz, Coachella’s festival ‘owner, is an extreme right-wing billionaire who has funded anti-LGBT organizations.

While Coachella has just unveiled a monstrous lineup for its 2017 upcoming edition including DJ SNAKE, Justice, Dillon Francis, Martin Garrix, Steve Angello and Madeon, An information begins to spread like a trail of powder on the web showing that festival’ owner Phil Anschutz has funded several anti- LGBT organizations.

It all begins last 7th July 2016 when the Washington Post relays a computer graphics from “Liberty for All Americans” campaign, a bipartisan campaign to fight discrimination against LGBT people, which highlights the main US anti-gay organizations and their major donors. You can watch the interactive schema below :

Among them is Phil Anschutz, one of the wealthiest personalities in the United States with a fortune estimated at more than $ 10 billion. The man manages AEG, a sports and cultural entertainment company, holding teams and concert halls. Like The Weekly Standard, The Washington Examiner and Regal Cinemas, the largest movie theater operator in the United States. The presentation text fails to mention it, but Coachella is also him, the festival is organized by Goldenvoice, whose parent company is none other than…AEG !

On Thursday 5th January 2017 Phil Anschutz released a statement issued to Rolling Stone denying allegations of homophobia deploying the dreaded term “fake news” about the resurrection of reports regarding his right-wing philanthropy that flared up and said that he has ceased donations to anti-LGBTQ groups :

Recent claims published in the media that I am anti-LGBTQ are nothing more than fake news — it is all garbage. I unequivocally support the rights of all people without regard to sexual orientation.  We are fortunate to employ a wealth of diverse individuals throughout our family of companies, all of whom are important to us — the only criteria on which they are judged is the quality of their job performance; we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.

Both The Anschutz Foundation and I contribute to numerous organizations that pursue a wide range of causes.  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.

– Phil Anschutz

AEG & Coachella’s owner Phil Anschutz. 2016 – Credits : Bloomberg

Unfortunately for Phil Anschutz, his charitable donations are a matter of public record, and when he does not run his big business, Phil Anschutz makes consequential donations to various organizations and guess what? Between 2011 and 2013 he has offered $ 110,000 to Alliance Defending Freedom, $ 50,000 to the National Christian Charitable Foundation, and between 2010 and 2013 he has offered $ 30,000 to Family Research Council. As “Freedom for all Americans” reveals, these three organizations are 100% anti-LGBT.

And that’s not all. According to Greenpeace, Phil Anschutz will also fund climate-skeptical organizations and participate in the Koch Industries annual congress, Including the two CEO brothers, among the biggest donors of groups rejecting global warming. Since then, it remains to be seen whether artists like Beyoncé, close to Barack Obama and who was noticed in 2016 for his citizen engagement and his feminist stance and pro-Black Lives Matter, will dare to dissociate herself from the event.