Coachella's main financier has been linked with supporting extreme right wing views and donating to anti-LGBTQ and climate change denial groups.
Recent reports have surfaced stating that Philip Anschutz, the billionaire behind Anschutz Entertainment Group, more commonly known as AEG, has made considerable donations of hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-LGBTQ groups, including Alliance Defending Freedom, National Christian Foundation and Family Research Council, according to The Washington Post.
These organizations strongly oppose the LGBTQ community by aggressively lobbying against equal-rights legislation, while the Family Research Council is classified as an “extremist group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Back in July, ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii commented on Anschutz’s association with such groups via a press release: “Phil Anschutz’s extensive influence in Colorado politics has been known for years, but the degree of his support for anti-LGBTQ groups that fund extremist hate groups like Gordon Kligenschmitt’s ‘Pray in Jesus Name’ is shocking.”
“At a time in American history when discrimination and violence against LGBTQ citizens is on the rise, support for pro-discrimination groups puts Anschutz on the wrong side of Colorado, and on the wrong side of history.”
Along with his anti-equal rights activism, Greenpeace points out that Anschutz is also a strong supporter of the Koch brothers, two of the leading climate change denial activists. Anschutz has regularly met with the brothers to develop strategy for pushing the anti-environmentalist agenda and even goes so far as to challenge the science behind evolution.
AEG is the parent company of Goldenvoice, the organization that produces music festivals like Coachella, Panorama, FYF, Splash House, Firefly and more.
Anschutz and AEG have yet to comment on the recent reports.
Harrison is Mixmag's East Coast Editor. Follow him on Twitter here