Coachella is one of the largest musical events in the world. That’s that on that. And it’s endlessly controversial, particularly when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community — more on that later. But the organizers are plunging into the new decade with its most queer lineup year, and for the first time, have tapped an openly queer man as one of its headliners.
Though speculation and insider reports leaked out about a week ago, Coachella has now confirmed that Frank Ocean is scheduled to headline the 2020 festival. And that’s big news! Not only because of the historic nature, given that he’s the first queer male to headline in the 20+ year history of the event (Lady Gaga has also headlined so queers haven’t been completely nonexistent), but also because Ocean isn’t particularly prone to live performances. So this is set to be a real treat.
The Blonde crooner isn’t the only queer act on the lineup though. Expect to see Lil Nas X, Pabllo Vittar, Orville Peck, Kim Petras and BROCKHAMPTON (which is fronted by Kevin Abstract, who is gay) as well. A list!
In addition to Ocean’s history making statice, Pabllo Vittar will be the first drag queen to perform their own music on a Coacehlla stage. We love to see it.
But buying a ticket to support the event isn’t the easiest choice for some. Philip Anschutz, CEO of AEG entertainment and Coachella owner, has a well-documented history of donating to Republican senators and super PACs and by proxy, funding anti-LGBTQ+, pro-gun, and anti-abortion legislation. In the 2018 election cycle he gave some $325,000 in donations to the Republican party and its various candidates.
Since, he’s released a statement and donated $1 million to Elton John’s AIDS Foundation.
"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 in a statement to Billboard. "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. I see this as a matter of basic human rights." At the time, he was also involved in the promotion of John’s final tour.
While everyone is entitled to make their own choices about whether or not to support the event, we’re going to just split the difference and watch a YouTube livestream of our favorite performers!