Last week the LOVELOUD foundation announced the lineup for their 2019 festival, which will take place on June 29 at the USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City. It will be the third annual festival hosted by this organization.
The lineup for this year’s festival includes Kesha as the headliner and performances from Dan Reynolds, Grouplove, Tegan and Sara, K.Flay, PVRIS, Daya, Martin Garrix and Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers. While the lineup is star-studded, it’s not the only thing that makes this festival worthwhile.
For many, the LOVELOUD festival is hotly anticipated every year. The LOVELOUD foundation was formed in 2017 by Imagine Dragons star and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Dan Reynolds. The foundation’s mission is clear: “Ignite the vital conversation about what it means to love unconditionally, understand, accept and support our LGBTQ+ friends and family.” This festival differs from all the other summer festivals and concert programs in Utah. While it is about music, it more importantly focuses on bringing people together to understand and talk about something considered taboo. It gives people a space to be themselves, which can be incredibly difficult for LGBTQ youth in the amplified religious environment of Utah. The LDS Church sponsored the first festival, but did not sponsor last year’s event.
The festival couldn’t come at a better time with the recent, heartbreaking loss of an effort to shut down transphobia and homophobia in Utah by banning conversion therapy practices for youth. Utah has an alarmingly high teen suicide rate, and LOVELOUD is one of the few organizations and places where people who feel ostracized every other day of their life can simply live. Feeling part of a community can drastically change a person’s mood and perception of their life.
Earlier in the year, as part of our Poynter college media project, I wrote about the LOVELOUD festival and foundation in depth. One of Dan Reynolds’ quotes was: “Love. It’s so basic. It’s the core of our existence.” These words are exactly why the LOVELOUD festival continues to happen. Reynolds has vowed to continue it until the conversation is no longer hidden, but proclaimed proudly in Utah and his foundation is giving Utahns a much-needed platform to get the conversation started.
Change is slow, but is surely coming. More foundations and organizations are working to support LGBTQ members, like Encircle. As one teen said in this video from the organization, everything is still a work in progress. With celebrity advocates like Reynolds, though, the worry and stress are a little less heavy. Here’s to another festival of the thing which matters most in the world: love.
To purchase tickets to the festival or learn more about the foundation, click here.