On Saturday at Rice Eccles Stadium, the second annual LoveLoud festival was held, conceived by the lead singer of Imagine Dragons, Dan Reynolds.
LoveLoud was born in 2017 with the goal of raising awareness, money, and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth — and that it did. This year, more than 30,000 people flooded Rice Eccles Stadium for the festival, with appearances from Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees, Grace Vanderwaal, Zedd, CEO of Apple Tim Cook, and Imagine Dragons. The event raised over $1 million for at-risk LGBTQ youth.
As a member of the LDS church, Dan Reynolds has taken it upon himself to speak about the lack of acceptance that is part of his community’s culture. But this is not to be confused with trying to change the doctrine, he says, in a red carpet interview before the event:
“The people and the community want to love our LGBTQ youth. Period. And that’s the goal of LoveLoud. We’re not trying to change doctrine. We know we can’t change orthodox religion. I don’t claim to be able to do something like that. My mom said to me, ‘What do you think, you’re gonna change the Mormon church?’ No. But I know enough Mormons, and I believe in the hearts of people enough that, if we all talk, I think they’ll realize we need to do better and we need to change.”
Reynolds also recently released a film on HBO titled “Believer”, which documents his exploration of the LDS church’s treatment of LGBTQ individuals. You can watch the trailer for the documentary here:
The executive director of the festival, Draper’s Lance Lowry, said of the festival,
“One year ago at this time, we didn’t have a venue, we didn’t have any sponsors. Now, we’re about to play in a football stadium in Utah in front of 30,000 people who put their money where their mouth is.”
The event was an incredible display of how Utah can come together in the name of acceptance, equality, and love. U92 sends a huge thank you to Dan Reynolds and all of the artists who came out to support this cause and create change in our community!