AEG’s founder, Philip Anschutz, allegedly has ties to right-wing interest groups.
Conservative Christian billionaire Philip Anschutz, whose company owns Coachella, has been linked to right-wing groups that support anti-LGBT measures and deny climate change.
Philip Anschutz, owner of the live music and sporting events conglomerate Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) which includes Coachella in its portfolio, financially supports conservative groups that lobby to overturn gains made by the LGBT community, according to Uproxx.
The Anschutz Family Foundation—the philanthropic nonprofit founded by Anschutz's parents and of which Philip Anschutz is chairman—has donated to anti-LGBT groups including the Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Christian Foundation, and the Family Research Council.
The FRC is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center (a nonprofit civil rights advocacy organization) as an extremist group for its "intention is to denigrate LGBT people." The group's campaigns include attempts to repeal same-sex marriage, hate crime laws, and reinstate the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
AEG is the second largest live events company in the world, after Live Nation. Coachella— the annual California festival which announced this week that it's 2017 lineup includes Beyonce, Radiohead, and Kendrick Lamar—is produced by Goldenvoice, an AEG subsidiary since 2001.
Anschutz's conservative agenda has long been known. He owns the rightwing tabloid, the Washington Examiner, as well as the Weekly Standard, an influential conservative magazine. In 2009 Politico wrote about the reclusive billionaire's (Forbes estimates he is worth $12.1 billion) unassuming but vast influence within political circles.
In 2013 the New York Times reported that 77-year-old Anschutz attended a seminar hosted by the controversial billionaire libertarians, the Koch brothers, for "like-minded, wealthy political donors." Greenpeace also described Anschutz, who made his future in oil and gas in Colorado, as a "financier of climate science denial groups."