LOVELOUD Festival Draws Large Crowd in Second Year
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The LOVELOUD Festival returned to Utah for a second year, drawing a much larger crowd than its inaugural event.
Organizers said between 35,000 and 40,000 people came to Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah for the event. Last year’s festival drew 17,000 to Brent Brown Ballpark at Utah Valley University.
The goal of the festival is to start a conversation in the community about loving, accepting, and supporting LGBTQ+ young people.
“I think this is a conversation that needs to happen and I think it’s really cool that they’re doing it through music, so this is a cool new way to start that conversation,” Erica Newell said as she entered the stadium.
Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds was one of the driving forces behind the event. He said he hoped the event would show everyone that they are loved. Organizers said LGBTQ+ young people in unaccepting homes or communities are eight times more likely to die by suicide.
“They don’t have higher suicide rates because of who they are. They have higher suicide rates because of what the world is telling them,” Reynolds said before the event.
Reynolds said he hoped that there would come a day where festivals like LOVELOUD were not needed.
“The successes in the meantime are these kids not taking their lives, not feeling depressed, feeling like there is support for them. If not at home, at least they’re sitting in their bedroom tonight and livestreaming this,” Reynolds said.
There were several speakers in between each musical act, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, the first openly-gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Organizers hoped to raise $1-million through online donations for LGBTQ+ organizations.
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