by Mike Winslow
(AllHipHop News) The move is in response to reports that billionaire Philip Anschutz, owner of Coachella parent company AEG Live, which operates Goldenvoice, the company that launched the festival in 1999, has donated significant funds to groups supporting anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LGBTQ) agendas.
Now a petition set up on the Care2 website by activist Sarah Rose calls on the headline acts for the upcoming music festival in Indio, California to consider giving their appearance fees to LGBTQ support organisations such as The Trevor Project, Trans Lifeline and the Human Rights Campaign.
“As a transgender woman and advocate for the LGBTQ community, my genuine hope is that these artists can turn a bad situation into a positive one,” Care2 LGBTQ issues advocate Sarah Rose told Billboard of the petition which has gathered signatures from more than 5,600 supporters. “I’m a diehard music fan and a musician myself, and I strongly believe that music shouldn’t be used as a means to discriminate.”
When Coachella confirmed its 2017 lineup earlier this month, a number of controversial reports emerged, which tied Anschutz to anti-LGBTQ and climate change denial groups over the years.
The 77-year-old businessman, whose company also promoted 2016’s most lucrative festival, Desert Trip, denied the allegations, shooting down reports that he has worked against the LGBTQ community as “fake news” and “garbage.”
In a statement, Anschutz said that he was proud that his businesses employed people from diverse backgrounds and that he withdrew support for any anti-LGBTQ groups once he became aware of their discriminatory agendas.
Coachella will be held from April 14-16 and April 21-23 of this year.