×

AEG Founder Who Funded Anti-LGBT Agendas Is Now Fighting Legal Pot

Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the live music giant and corporate parent of Goldenvoice and the annual Coachella music festival, got its share of heat last year when it was revealed that the company’s founder, Philip Anschutz, and his private family foundation had donated to organizations with anti-LGBT agendas. Anschutz apparently also takes issue with marijuana.

Pro-legalization publication Freedom Leaf reports that the Anschutz Foundation has handed over more than $200,000 to fund anti-marijuana efforts in Colorado as recently as 2016. The 78-year-old Anschutz, whose net worth is over $10 billion, resides in Denver.

Anschutz’s anti-pot stance might explain why, despite the fact that marijuana is legal for recreational adult use in the state of California as of Jan. 1, Coachella announced that it would not allow marijuana in any form on the festival grounds this year, including the many acres of designated camping areas. Worth noting, says the publication, is that Indio has also banned new pot businesses.

Coachella takes place on the Empire Polo Grounds and draws nearly 100,000 concertgoers per day over two three-day weekends in April. This year’s headliners include Beyonce, Eminem and The Weeknd.

In Colorado, the Anschutz Foundation donated tens of thousands of dollars to such organizations as SAM Inc. and Smart Colorado, 2016 tax returns show, whose aim was to counter the impact of Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana statewide and was passed by voters in 2012.

After criticism from the LGBT community, AEG stated, “We have immediately ceased all contributions to such groups.” It’s unclear whether similar action — or a Coachella change of heart — will occur in the case of marijuana. The Anschutz Foundation has also supported pro-gun and anti-abortion Republican political candidates in the past.

In addition to Goldenvoice, AEG is an equity partner in sports teams and the ticketing agency AXS and its assets include Los Angeles’ Staples Center and London’s O2 arena.

A rep for AEG Live did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.

More Music

  • On, US singer Iggy Pop performs

    Iggy Pop to Drop 'Somber and Contemplative' New Album, ‘Free,’ in September

    Iggy Pop today confirmed the title and release date of his first new album in three years, “Free,” which comes out Sept. 6 on Loma Vista Records. While it follows 2016’s “Post Pop Depression,” a hard-rocking collaboration with Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme that was the highest-charting album of Pop’s 50-year-plus career, according the [...]

  • Tommy JamesCousin Brucie 3rd Annual Palisades

    Tommy James Biopic 'Me, the Mob and the Music' in Development (EXCLUSIVE)

    Pop music star Tommy James and film producer Barbara DeFina are developing the biopic “Me, the Mob and the Music,” based on James’ autobiography. DeFina, whose credits include Martin Scorsese’s “Casino” and “GoodFellas,” and James have tapped three-time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall to helm the film adaptation from a screenplay by Matthew Stone (“Intolerable [...]

  • 'Between Me and My Mind' Review:

    Film Review: Trey Anastasio in 'Between Me and My Mind'

    Trey Anastasio doesn’t look like a rock star. With his thick rimless glasses and flop of sandy red hair, you might say he resembles John Sebastian, but really, he looks like a mashup of Mike White and Jon Cryer and the filmmaker Chris Smith. He’s an appealingly ordinary shaggy-geek dude, like some guy you might [...]

  • Paul McCartney Has Penned Score for

    Paul McCartney Has Been Secretly Writing an 'It's a Wonderful Life' Musical

    The pop superstar who once released a movie and album called “Give My Regards to Broad Street” really does have designs on Broadway, after all. It was revealed Wednesday that Paul McCartney has already written a song score for a stage musical adaptation of the 1946 Frank Capra film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The [...]

  • Haim Saban

    Haim Saban Pledges to Invest $500 Million to Launch Music Label

    Businessman, investor and philanthropist Haim Saban, who heads the Saban Capital Group, has pledged to invest $500 million to launch a record label. Saban Music Group (SMG) will be led by music executive Gustavo Lopez and focus on “international A&R, artist development and strategically supporting a 360 model for artists,” reads a release announcing SMG, [...]

  • Dunkirk

    Harry Styles Is the Perfect Prince Eric; Why He'd Rock 'Little Mermaid' Role

    Could Harry Styles be the perfect Prince Eric? One day after the announcement that the One Direction star is “in early negotiations to play the iconic ‘Little Mermaid’ role,” the internet exploded with speculation as to how he would portray the object of Ariel’s affections. “I can see lots of reasons why Harry is perfect,” [...]

  • Plume of black smoke rising from

    Universal Music Files Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit From Artists Claiming Fire Damage

    Universal Music Group filed a motion on Wednesday to dismiss a class-action lawsuit from attorneys representing Soundgarden, Hole, Steve Earle and the estates of Tupac and Tom Petty over master recordings reportedly destroyed in a 2008 fire, the extent of which was revealed last month in a New York Times article. UMG argues that the musicians cannot pursue a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content