AEG chairman Philip Anschutz, who oversees Goldenvoice, the organization that produces Coachella, Panorama, FYF, and many other prominent festivals, has drawn ire over the last several years when it was revealed his private family foundation was pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into groups that promoted LGBTQ discrimination, climate denial, and other right-wing causes that clash with the liberal ideals of many of Goldenvoice’s participating artists. Though his lawyers said he stopped contributing to such organizations in 2015, subsequent donations proved that wasn’t actually the case.
Anschutz appeared to partake in a bit of damage control last year 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.”
On the heels of Coachella’s 2019 lineup announcement, Spin took a peek at Anschutz’s 2018 list of donations via Open Secrets and found that he’s still doing his best to financially boost Republican organizations. What’s different, however, is that, aside from Orrin Hatch and Paul Ryan (both of whom returned his donations when it was revealed they would not seek re-election in last fall’s midterms), 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 people in the business of disenfranchising minorities, he’s not boosting organizations that openly describe homosexuality as a “Satanic perversion,” like he used to.