One of Coachella‘s own 2017 acts is calling the festival out in an open letter and asking fellow artists to help “shift the power dynamic.”
After playing the new stage, Sonora, over each weekend, punk rock band Downtown Boys are bringing some glaring issues to light. First up, that Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which operates Coachella, is linked to a foundation that has reportedly supported anti-LGBT groups over the past five years. With another issue being — as Coachella can be looked at as its own economy — there needs to be a change with wages as related to festival gross and growth. The band says artists and the Coachella community must act to redistribute the cultural and economic resources.
The open letter released via Spark says:
“Coachella holds enormous power in the music industry and beyond. With numerous barriers and inaccessibility because of ticket pricing, a huge toll on the local community, and the festival’s very geographic location, there is no denial that it is not a festival for everyone nor by everyone.”
“There was no call for an organized boycott of the festival, which is why as workers we still played it. Still, after other people who work for Coachella have stood up, bands have called him out prior to the festival, and there has been an ask for headliners to donate money to LGBTQ organizations, we want to state Downtown Boys explicit support for these protests.”
“There is not one gatekeeper at this point. So if more of us that have a hand in this all can speak out against this, we can shift the power dynamic, we just know it. In addition to this public statement, we will be donating a portion of the money paid to us by Coachella to organizations that fight for LGBTQ rights and freedoms, which means the freedom and justice for all people. We encourage other artists to do the same.”
Read the full letter here.
Photo courtesy of Downtown Boys