The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is known for bringing in droves of concert-goers to see big-name acts like the 2017 lineup of Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar and Radiohead. While tickets are considered music gold by many, the Washington Post reports that Coachella’s owner, Phil Anschutz, is a high-profile donor to a number of right-wing, anti-LGBT groups.
Anschutz is CEO of the Anschutz Corporation, the parent company of the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). Goldenvoice, the organizer of Coachella, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Clippers, is a subsidiary of AEG.
According to an infographic by the Washington Post, the Anschutz Foundation has donated thousands of dollars to Alliance Defending Freedom, National Christian Foundation and Family Research Council.
Anschutz sent a statement to Rolling Stone calling the reports “fake news” and that he no longer funds anti-LGBT 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,” the statement reads.
“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,” the statement continues.
Coachella takes place over two weekends on April 14-16 and April 21-23.