AEG chairman Philip Anschutz oversees Goldenvoice, the organization that produces Coachella, Panorama, FYF and other festivals. Anschutz has been in the spotlight these past few years after it was revealed his private family foundation was giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to groups that promoted LGBTQ discrimination, climate denial, and other right-wing causes.
In a 2016 report from an LA Times article, it was noted that Coachella draws in more than $700 million in revenue to the surrounding area. Most of the Coachella artists and visitors clash with right wing conservative causes. Though Anschutz lawyers said he stopped contributing to such right wing organizations in 2015, subsequent donations proved that wasn’t actually the case. It was found that he’s still doing his best to financially boost Republican organizations.
Apparently, Anschutz is no longer donating to individual politicians or organizations that wear their bigotry on their sleeve. Instead, his donations have gone to individual GOP state party organizations and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, to whom he funneled $134,400. So, while he’s still donating to conservative causes and candidates, he’s not boosting organizations that openly describe homosexuality as a “Satanic perversion,” like he used to. In August of 2016, Anschutz donated over $50,000 to Dare 2 Share Ministries, an organization run by founder and CEO Greg Stier. Stier, in a 2008 blog post on the organization’s website, stated “Homosexuality is a Satanic perversion of God’s gift of sex.”
The Anschutz Foundation has also supported pro-gun and anti-abortion Republican political candidates in the past. Anschutz did some damage control by donating $1 million to the Elton John AIDS Foundation LGBT fund. “My gift to the Elton John Foundation is intended to emphasize that we support freedom of all people to live their lives peacefully, without interference from others,” Anschutz said at the time. “Sexuality is among the most personal of issues, and it has never been my intent to weigh in on people’s private lives. I support the rights of all people and oppose discrimination and intolerance against the LGBTQ community.”