Oliver Litner - Staff Writer, Liv DuFine and Nadia Grauman - Opinion Editor and Creative Director

The head of the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), Philip Anschutz, is a significant figure in the entertainment industry. He plays a large role in the world famous festivals like Coachella and Camp Flog Gnaw; owns more sports teams and manages more sporting events than any other company in the world; and puts on shows in prominent Los Angeles venues. In 2016, media outlets reported that Anschutz was donating large sums of money to organizations supporting anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment and more strongly conservative agendas. This sparked the #Nochella movement, a massive boycott against the festival due to Anschutz’s political beliefs. Since the boycott, Anschutz has failed to end his donations, but he did formally state that he does not support discrimination and intolerance against the LGBTQ+ community. This year’s Coachella lineup looks fantastic, and many are extremely excited to attend. Anschutz’s politics should not prevent attendance of Coachella because of the extraordinary lineup, AEG’s overwhelming monopoly over entertainment in Los Angeles and the representation of diversity and modern toleration ideals through the artists, teens and adults attending the festival.
Coachella will be showcasing some of today’s best artists from no shortage of genres. Mainstream fans and music snobs alike will be pleased with this lineup, which headlines Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande. However, the true gems of the lineup are found in the small text of the Coachella poster. Fantastic artists from the spheres of Rap, vibey Indie Rock and EDM will be performing. All of these artists make incredible music, and the actions of Anschutz should not detract from their personal success. The musicians cannot control Anschutz’s actions or beliefs, and they deserve to be supported for their own contributions and talents.
Refusing to attend Coachella in an effort to stand against Anschutz would mean these boycotters should be refusing to attend a massive amount of other events. The subsidiary company of AEG called Goldenvoice organizes headlining tours for hugely popular artists; controls the bookings in LA’s most popular venues such as the Fonda Theatre, the El Rey Theatre and the Novo as well as festivals like Coachella, Camp Flog Gnaw; and owns the STAPLES Center, the L.A. Kings and the L.A. Lakers. Thus, if one boycotts Coachella, he or she is morally obligated to boycott a multiplex of entertainment opportunities as well.
Despite Anschutz’s personal beliefs, the Coachella lineup includes incredible diversity that is not at all reminiscent of the organizations Anschutz has been donating to. A large portion of the performers are members of the LGBTQ+ community including Janelle Monáe, SOPHIE, King Princess and Blood Orange. Performers come from all different backgrounds and cultures, with toleration for anyone and everyone. Coachella’s artists are a direct reflection of the festival itself, and Anschutz’s beliefs are irrelevant in this context. Attending Coachella demonstrates an appreciation and love for the performers, not for the organizers.
Some people are extremely outraged by Anschutz’s beliefs and do not want to support anyone who promotes inequality. However, these boycotters are ignoring all that the festival has to offer, as they only focus on the figurehead of the organization. Coachella represents an amazing, diversified culture, and it should not be derailed by the donations made by a single contributor.
Coachella 2019 will be an incredible event as it successfully combines all spheres of the population in both music and culture. Those who support the #Nochella movement are only depriving themselves of the opportunity of a lifetime. Overall, music fans should ignore Anschutz’s personal agenda and enjoy their experience at Coachella 2019.