SALT LAKE CITY — A first-time music festival aimed at supporting LGBTQ youth charities will bring several big names to Orem later this month and now has a statement of support from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The LoveLoud Festival will be held Aug. 26 at Utah Valley University’s Brent Brown Ballpark and will be a homecoming of sorts for Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees, two bands whose paths to stardom began in Utah.
They will be among those to perform at the event that will also feature words of support from NFL Hall of Famer and former BYU quarterback Steve Young and “Dancing With The Stars” judge Julianne Hough who are lending their voices to what organizers hope all in Utah can champion: support for youth.
“We applaud the LoveLoud Festival for LGBTQ Youth’s aim to bring people together to address teen safety and to express respect and love for all of God’s children,” says a statement released by the LDS Church. “We join our voice with all who come together to foster a community of inclusion in which no one is mistreated because of who they are or what they believe."
The statement continued: “We share common beliefs, among them the pricelessness of our youth and the value of families. We earnestly hope this festival and other related efforts can build respectful communication, better understanding and civility as we all learn from each other.”
The event is the brainchild of Dan Reynolds, lead singer of the Grammy Award-winning band Imagine Dragons, who was seeking a safe place to put differences aside between the LGBTQ and faith communities to promote love and acceptance of LGBTQ youth.
“LoveLoud is about is bringing our community together to talk about how we can love our LGBTQ youth, how we can make them feel accepted and loved within the community so that these suicide rates drop,” Reynolds said, noting the increased risk of suicide among LGBTQ youth and others who feel bullied or marginalized.
All proceeds from the event will go to the LoveLoud Foundation, which supports the Utah charities Encircle and Stand4Kind, as well as two national charities, The Trevor Project and GLAAD.
Event organizers have worked for months to try to provide an event that can focus on the common good of helping youth in a safe environment void of divisive politics. Event organizer Lance Lowry emphasized the "need to make a safer community."
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