LOVELOUD Festival to support LGBTQ youth

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A lineup including Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees will perform at the LOVELOUD Festival Saturday, Aug. 26 in support of LGBTQ youths.

Krewella, Nicholas Petricca of Walk the Moon, Joshua James and Aja Volkman will also perform.

The now sold-out festival will be held at Utah Valley University’s Brent Brown Ballpark in Orem and will begin at 5:30 p.m. Proceeds from the festival will be donated to LGBTQ support groups The Trevor project, Encircle, GLAAD and Stand4kind.

Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds created the LOVELOUD Festival to start a conversation about “what it means to unconditionally love, understand, accept and support LGBTQ+ youth,” according to the festival’s website.

“Now, more than ever, we need to come together and talk about ways we can love each other, respect each other and grow together as a culture and a community,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said LOVELOUD’s purpose is to foster communication and dialogue while being inclusive toward people of all faiths and political backgrounds.

“There’s no better time to come together to show love for one another than now,” Reynolds said. “We live in a really divided country, especially after the (Charlottesville, VA riots) which have been horrifying and devastating.”

Reynolds said he hopes the festival will become an annual worldwide event and show local teens they are loved and supported.

Andrew Zaeh
Neon Trees will co-headline the LOVELOUD Festival with Imagine Dragons. Lead singer Tyler Glenn served an LDS mission in Nebraska, and is openly gay. (Andrew Zaeh)

“The LGBTQ community is one that can often have a difficult path to tread. Even after progress has been made, there’s still a lot of progress left to be made,” Reynolds said. “Especially within homes of faith, there can be difficult conversations to be had in the home.”

Reynolds encouraged BYU students to come show their support.

“This is a safe zone for everyone to come to. By being in attendance, you are showing support to LGBTQ youth. Regardless of differences in politics or theology, we can all agree that the lives of our LGBTQ youth are important,” Reynolds said.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it supports the LOVELOUD Festival’s goal in a statement.

Suicide is the number one cause of death for teens in Utah, and LGBTQ+ youth who are not accepted at home or in the community are eight times more likely to commit suicide, according to Reynolds and The Trevor Project CEO and Executive Director Amit Paley.

“There is a groundswell of excitement, and LGBTQ youth are reaching out to us via our social media channels to thank us for being involved,” The Trevor Project CEO and Executive Director Amit Paley said in an email.

The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth nationwide.

“We hope seeing thousands of people come together in support of equality will help give permission to folks with strongly held religious beliefs to also love, support and accept the equality of the LGBTQ community, loudly” Paley said.

JD Goates, president of the unofficial BYU organization Understanding Same Gender Attraction, said he hopes the festival will allow for dialogue between the LGBTQ community and those around them.

“I hope people come to the concert with an open heart to listen and understand that there’s a serious issue at hand,” Goates said.

 

Dan Reynolds shares his inspiration and hopes for the LOVELOUD Festival.