“I will stand with you. I will fight with you,” Dan Reynolds told the sold-out crowd at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday (July 28) at the second annual LoveLoud music festival.
These people all rule. Thanks to @blairimani for coming to speak at @loveloudfest and for your hard work and activism. And for dressing up. Way to show you can attend a festival and still look fabulous. Massive thank you to @mrdrewscott and @imlindork for also speaking and being exceptional allies to the #LGBTQ community. ❤️
The Imagine Dragons frontman founded LoveLoud in 2017 to ignite the conversation about what it means to love, understand, accept, and support LGBTQ youth after he became alarmed by the rising suicide rate among Utah teens. The staggering statistics also inspired Reynolds to explore how the Mormon church treats its LGBTQ members in the Don Argott-directed documentary centered around LoveLoud, Believer, which aired on HBO in June.
This year, Reynolds had three goals for the music festival: “To change the culture, to destigmatize this so that we can stop having these conversations,” and to raise $1 million to donate to LGBTQ-centered charities such as The Trevor Project, The Tegan and Sara Foundation, and Encircle, Utah’s largest LGBTQ family and youth resource center.
“We are not at a safe place for our LGBTQ youth,” Reynolds said in a press conference. “The statistics are showing it..and it impassions me…we have a long way to go.”
Amit Paley, the CEO of The Trevor Project, added that suicide is the still the second leading cause of death among young people.
“This is a public health crisis, not just in Utah, but across the country. LoveLoud is sending a clear message to LGBTQ youth that they are not alone,” Paley said.
On hand to help spread that message beyond Salt Lake City was AT&T. The company “powered” the event so that it could be live streamed around the world.
“It was really rad to have AT&T come on board to help us live stream this year to millions of people because that’s where we’re moving, and that’s where it needs to go,” said the “Radioactive” singer. “We want to reach as many communities who need it as possible.”
AT&T also pledged to donate $1 for every use of the hashtag #LoveLoud on Twitter and has already followed through on that promise by making a nearly $50,000 donation. This comes on the heels of donating $1 million dollars to The Trevor Project in June.
“AT&T has had a longstanding commitment to the LGBTQ community,” AT&T VP of Advertising and Creative Services Valerie Vargas told NewNowNext. “Our employee base is a mirror of the communities we serve, and we need to care for our employees as we care for our communities, so the company really has engaged, and invested, and been a supporter for a long time.”
The festival, hosted by comedian Cameron Esposito, featured performances from acts like Imagine Dragons, Zedd, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, Neon Tree’s Tyler Glenn, Grace Vanderwaal, Jussie Smollett, and many more. Guest speakers included Apple CEO Tim Cook, Olympian Gus Kenworthy, musicians Parson James, Justin Tranter, and VINCINT, plus TV personalities Alfonso Ribeiro and Kalen Allen.
In case you missed this year’s event, or want to see it again, you can watch the full live stream below.
— AT&T (@ATT) July 29, 2018