Coachella Headliners Petitioned to Donate Fees to Pro-LGBTQ Groups Following New Reports of Festival Owner’s Donations to Hate Groups

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Beyoncé. Photo: Duane Prokop/Getty Images

Following recently resurfaced and newly uncovered reports of Coachella owner Philip Anschutz’s multiple donations to hate groups with anti-LGBTQ agendas, fans have started a petition urging this year’s headliners to donate their performance earnings to charity. The petition, which is currently nearing its goal of 7,000 signatures, requests that Beyoncé, Radiohead, and Kendrick Lamar give their Coachella fees to the LGBTQ rights groups the Trevor Project, Trans Lifeline, and the Human Rights Campaign. The petition was spurred by news that AEG owner Philip Anschutz had made at least $190,000 in donations to various hate groups. Initial reports suggested that Anschutz had made some of those donations between 2010 and 2013 through his foundation, donations which Anschutz claimed in a statement he was no longer making. New findings from Anschutz’s tax returns viewed by Pitchfork, however, reveal that Anschutz was still making sizeable donations to the anti-gay groups Alliance Defending Freedom and National Christian Foundation as recently as 2015. A law firm representing AEG tells Pitchfork the foundation ceased making such donations after that year: “Once it was explained to us that there was an issue, it stopped.” None of this year’s headliners have commented on the controversy so far.

Coachella Headliners Petitioned to Donate Fees