Listen this article
Since last year, rumors have circulated about the donations made by millionaire Philip Anschutz, owner of the Coachella Festival. Here we tell you more about it
Philip Anschutz is the millionaire owner of Coachella. In 2017, when the Coachella 2018 line up was announced, Fader magazine revealed the donations that Philip Anschutz made. Among them were donations to anti-LGBTIQ + cases, pro-weapons and against the legalization of drugs. It is known that Philip Anschutz is a right-wing conservative Christian who identifies with the causes of the republican party. He has also defined himself always as a philanthropist interested in donating to different causes. The problem with these accusations is that their donations seem to be contrary to the mentality of the artists and the public of Coachella, mostly liberals. Here is a timeline of Philip Anschutz's history with the well-known festival and his critically-acclaimed donations.
Leer en español: Philip Anschutz y a dónde va su dinero de Coachella
1999 : The company of musical events and concert logistics Goldenvoice organized the first version of the Festival of Music and Arts of Coachella Valley in Indio, California. Since then, this festival has become among the most important in the world. It is characterized by its large budget with which it manages to bring together the most influential artists in the current pop scene. It is attended by many celebrities and influencers. It is also characterized by promoting the hippie fashion of the seventies, with which the attendees dress.
2001: The Anschutz Entertainment Group, better known as AEG, and owned by the millionaire Philip Anschutz, buys Goldenvoice in a deal of almost 7 million dollars. Since then, Anschutz owns Coachella and is a partner of its founders: Rick Van Santen and Paul Tollett.
2016: The organization Freedom For All Americans denounces that Anschutz donates to anti-gay organizations like Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council. According to Freedom For All Americans, millionaire donations to these organizations reached up to $ 190,000. This information would be confirmed later with the tax reports of the Anschutz company. Given this, the millionaire said in an interview with Rolling Stone that it was "fake news" and that, while he considered himself a right-wing person, he defended the equal rights of all people regardless of their sexual orientation.
According to Pitchfork, that year Anschutz would have also donated about 1 million dollars to the Republican party during the previous presidential elections, making sure, in the midst of everything, that nothing went to the campaign of Donald Trump, with whom the millionaire does not identify.
2017 : When the tickets of this year's version were put on sale in January, the controversy over Anschutz donations was unleashed again. In social media, people were invited to boycott the festival, without any result, since the tickets were sold out in a matter of days.
Later that year, a day after the lineup for the 2018 version was announced, Fader revealed the most recent Anschutz donations: $ 5,400 to Colorado pro-gun senator Cory Gardner; $ 2,700 to Scott Tipton, a Colorado congressman who opposes to the legalization of abortion and egalitarian marriage; $ 5,400 to cameraman Mike Coffman, with policies against legal abortion. It seemed, then, that the millionaire no longer donated to organizations but to the campaign of specific politicians who aligned themselves with right-wing ideologies.
2018: In March of this year, Anschutz donated $ 1 million to the Elton John AIDS Foundation to silence those who criticized him for his previous donations. However, later this year when the lineup for the 2019 version was announced, Spin announced Anschutz donations via Open Secrets during 2018. While the tycoon does not donate money to nongovernmental organizations such as Alliance Defending anymore Freedom, Family Research Council, and the National Christian Foundation, to which he did donate before, or to individual politicians as he would have done the previous year, he does continue to financially support the causes of the American right. Spin revealed that he would have donated $ 134,000 in 2018 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
2019: In January of this year, the co-founder of Coachella and partner of Anschutz said, in an interview for Los Angeles Times, that the majority of millionaires in the country were Republicans and that they used to be the investors of projects of this type, so his partner case is neither particular nor new. He also assured that Anschutz does not donate to anti-LBTIQ + organizations since 2016 and that, on the other hand, it was worth noting the donation he had made to the Elton John Foundation.
However, a few days before the festival, there are many who are not convinced by Anschutz or Coachella and there is a distrust and suspicion in social medie about whether the ticket money would go to causes with which the public or the artists do not agree. In this year's line up, there will be artists who have been very critical of this type of dynamics in the United States as Childish Gambino or Solange. The first, in fact, launched last year its hit "This is America", a song in which strongly criticizes the indifference of the privileged on the problems of minorities. The paradox will be, then, that this and other artists will take the stage of someone who, in his legitimate right to support the causes he wants, decides to support those against whom the artists invited are fighting in their music.
Read also: Music Festivals' weirdest locations
LatinAmerican Post | Staff
Translated from "Philip Anschutz y a donde va su dinero de Coachella"