News spread last week that the owner of the Coachella music festival, Phil Anschutz, donated thousands to groups that oppose LGBT equality. Phil claims that when he found out, he cut those groups off — but his non-pology rings pretty hollow. What, did he not even check to see what the recipients of his largesse were up to? How do you “accidentally” give money to the Family Research Foundation?
And then there’s the matter of the thousands he gave to climate-change-deniers. (Not like those groups need any more donors, since they’re all funded by oil companies like Exxon.) Not surprisingly, Phil owns an oil company of his own, so no wonder he’s trying to spread misinformation about how burning oil is destroying the planet.
At any rate, we still have no way of knowing where money raised from Coachella is going. The most recent year for which data is available is 2014, so who knows what other organizations are being supported by ticket sales.
So what can be done about all this? Aside from just not going, you can also sign a petition asking performers to donate their proceeds to queer causes to counteract Phil Anschutz’s agenda. It’s directed at performers like Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar and Radiohead, and recommends donations to The Trevor Project, Trans Lifeline and the Human Rights Campaign.