Northwest Missourian Opinion

Ever since the Coachella setlist was released Jan. 2, it “Feels Like Summer,” and excited concert-goers around the country have begun the great debate over whether or not to buy tickets.

Happening on the weekends of April 12 and April 19, Coachella is an iconic music festival filled with crowds dancing to bumping beats while beading with sweat as the sun glares on them in Indio, California.

This year’s setlist features several well-known artists such as Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Tame Impala and approximately 161 other bands. With what feels like an endless lineup filled with incredible bands, it can be a difficult decision on whether or not to purchase the $573 tickets for avid music festival fans.

However, the decision should be clear as day; we should not purchase those tickets, but rather we should take a stance against the event on social media platforms and spread the word to our friends because “When the Party’s Over,” the moral implications of supporting the organization come to light.

Coachella was originally co-founded by Rick Van Santen and Paul Tollett in 1999. Since then, it has been hosted annually drawing in countless people year after year. It creates a space where anyone and everyone can enjoy their favorite bands together with far too many bags of “Flaming Hot Cheetos.”

When Philip Anschutz became the owner of Coachella, that inclusive spirit remained the same in the crowd but changed behind the scenes. Once again, it “Feels Like We Only Move Backwards” when taking a closer look at the organizations Anschutz supports.

Freedom For All Americans reported in 2016 that Anschutz Foundation donated $50,000 to the National Christian Foundation between 2011 and 2013. According to The Washington Post, in 2016, the NCF directly supported multiple anti-LGBT organizations such as Family Research Council and Liberty Council.

The rabbit hole doesn’t stop there though. FFAA also shed light on the Anschutz Foundation’s $110,000 donated towards Alliance Defending Freedom between 2011 and 2013. Alliance Defending Freedom is notorious for its work to combat LGBT rights.

Southern Poverty Law Center clarifies how Alliance Defending Freedom has, “supported the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalization abroad; has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has linked homosexuality to pedophilia and claims that a ‘homosexual agenda’ will destroy Christianity and society.”

Philip Anschutz’s support of each of these organizations should be more than enough to sway us towards not purchasing those tickets. Northwest prides itself on being a campus that welcomes, includes and supports the LGBT community.

Despite how tempting it is to purchase a ticket to Coachella and venture out towards the picture-perfect Indio, California, which might feel like a magical “Island in the Sun,” we should instead take a stand against an event that takes our money and uses it to attempt to hinder the lives of students and friends who are a part of the LGBT community.

However, refusing to attend the event is only a start.

While some of us may have been thinking of attending the event, not everyone can afford that luxury. Understanding this, Coachella has stated they will livestream the event online for anyone to tune into.

Despite how tempting it is to watch our favorite artists through the convenient means of a livestream, we should restrain ourselves. Tuning in to the livestream will only show more support for the organization, and in turn, increase its popularity and success.

Alongside resisting the urge to tune in to the livestream, action can be taken on social media. Countless users on platforms such as Twitter have begun circulating information covering this issue. Retweet these snippets of information or even raise awareness yourself.

Sharing our thoughts allows the creation of discourse to further continue the conversation, opening up to engagement from others. Becoming engaged in issues such as this one is vital to achieve any form of potential change, and social media is our way to do that.

For those of us with the urge to still experience a music festival, instead of attending Coachella, seek out other music festivals.

Substantially closer and more affordable is Lollapalooza Chicago, to name one. Other options include SXSW, Big Ears, Burning Man and more. Or more realistically, hold onto the money because when it comes down to it, we’re all college students who are “Young Dumb & Broke.”

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