Another year, another Coachella lineup headlined by some of the biggest names in music; this year, the three-day music festival will feature Beyoncé, the Weekend, and Eminem. It is also still owned by the CEO of sports and entertainment group AEG, Philip Anschutz, who, despite 2017 not being an election year, continued to support conservative politicians who are pro-gun, pro-life, and/or believe Barack Obama isn’t really American. Yup.
According to a report from the Fader, last year Anschutz donated $5,400 to Colorado senator Cory Gardner, who opposed gun control after the worst mass shooting in recent American history. Anschutz also threw $5,400 to Colorado representative Mike Coffman, who once said, as the Fader noted, that he simply could not get behind the idea that then-president Obama is American:
“I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America,” he said at the time. “I don’t know that. But I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American. He’s just not an American.”
Anschutz also donated to pro-life senators Scott Tiptin and Deb Fischer, as well as to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
The obvious thing here is that, whatever Anschutz’s political views (he denied last year that he is anti-LGBT), he’s letting his wallet do the talking, and it’s almost directly opposed to the views held by many of the artists who are given a platform by Coachella. Which brings about what should be an obvious question: Why haven’t more artists boycotted the festival? Why haven’t more fans?
Coachella, which has been a two-weekend ordeal since 2012, continues to grow: last year, it became the first annual, recurring music festival to rake in over $100 million, according to Billboard. Now we know whose pockets we’re lining with that money. Shouldn’t we care a little bit more?