Reported by: Lexee Makitra
Earlier this year, just shortly after Coachella announced its 2017 lineup, resurfaced online reports of its owner Philip Anschutz’s past donations to anti-gay hate groups went viral. Debates over whether or not to attend Coachella flooded the internet on platforms such as Twitter. These debates attracted lots of people including music lovers, and Coachella supporters. This debate was very popular, and a petition was made for money that was earned to be donated to pro-LGBTQ groups.
The Goldenvoice CEO Paul Tollett says, “No one wants to wake up to see a headline that says, ‘Coachella owner anti-gay.’ I was offended. I run the festival, but it’s rude to say that when you’re a partner with someone.” (Goldenvoice organizes Coachella, but Tollett shares half the festival’s ownership with Anschutz’s AEG.)
Anschutz had later released a statement that claimed that all of the donations had been a mistake and that they were no longer continuing to do this. Anschutz had called the reports of his donations “fake news”. Tollett was not very happy about this.
Most of the media’s reactions were negative. Many had said that they were disappointed and that this incident had definitely changed what they had thought about this popular festival. Junior Alexis Woodcock is not a big supporter of Coachella, “It definitely makes me think… less of Coachella… I guess it just makes me support it less”.