Just after the announcement of the official 2017 Coachella lineup (which includes headliners like Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, and Radiohead), Teen Vogue has published a fascinating expose on the owner of the star-studded music festival. In the past, the event has helped popularize a laundry list of notable underground and indie bands, and it's turned into a sort of epicenter of youth culture — for better or worse. Now, writer De Elizabeth has uncovered the fact that the owner of the festival, Philip Anschutz, has several questionable ultra-conservative ideologies including some extreme anti-environmental, anti-women, and anti-gay beliefs.
Anschutz is the owner of AEG, which in turn owns a handful of venues and a few sports teams. According to Teen Vogue, "Anschutz has taken some of the profits that he's made and donated them to groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Family Research Council, and the National Christian Foundation. All three of those groups have been known to campaign against LGBTQ rights." Greenpeace has also revealed that Anschutz is a "financier of climate science denial groups."
With the revelation, which has been picked up by a handful of sites including Afropunk, Esquire, Mic, and Refinery29, it is likely that pressure will mount on artists who have traditionally supported gender equality, queer rights, and climate change sensibility to drop out of the performance. Some have already started planning boycotts and contacting this year's scheduled artists in the hopes that they will pull out of the festival, while others are reaching out to performers from past years of Coachella in the hopes they will denounce the owners politics.
This year's festival has already sold out — I guess in more ways than one.
[Photo: Getty Images]