Thursday, January 04, 2018

Causes for concern

Today's music festivals have their roots in the hippie gatherings of the 60s: liberal, countercultural oases synonymous (at least in the popular imagination) with peace, love and understanding. So it's particularly depressing to discover that the man behind Coachella, AEG's Philip Anschutz, has a record of donating money to right-wing causes including anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion organisations.

In truth, the story originally broke this time last year, but it passed me. Anschutz dismissed it as "fake news", presumably fully aware that echoing Trump would be red rag to a bull as regards his critics on the left and within the music community. Twelve months on and the story has resurfaced - time will tell as to whether he'll issue a similar dismissal, but in the meantime it's likely to give some of those on the 2018 bill pause for thought, not least St Vincent and Perfume Genius. Perhaps they'll follow the lead of Show Me The Body, the punk band who last year reacted to the news by vowing to play the festival but donate their "blood money" to precisely the sort of causes that Anschutz opposes.

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