A few hours before he went onstage before 17,000 people in Orem last August, Dan Reynolds, frontman of the Grammy-winning alt-rock band Imagine Dragons and a member of the LDS Church, promised that the LoveLoud Festival — the concert event he organized to bring support to LGBTQ youths — would become an annual event, and that bigger, national acts would perform in future years.
He kept his word.
Reynolds announced Monday that the second annual LoveLoud Festival will be held July 28 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. This year’s lineup features Imagine Dragons, electronic dance music star Zedd, Linkin Park member Mike Shinoda, teen singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal, Neon Trees frontman Tyler Glenn, Vagabon and A.W. Stand-up comedian, actor and writer Cameron Esposito will also perform and emcee.
More performers are expected to be announced in coming weeks. Tickets will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. MT via SmithsTix.com. Tickets range from $29.50 to $129.50.
“We at LoveLoud are determined to help create a more loving and accepting environment for them, while also hoping to raise more than $1 million for local and national LGBTQ+ charities,” Reynolds said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to a day dedicated to celebrating their diversity while listening to great music and inspiring speakers.”
The LoveLoud Foundation will donate proceeds from this year’s event to LGBTQ organizations including Encircle, the Tegan and Sara Foundation, and the Trevor Project.
Reynolds created a documentary last year, called “Believer,” to chronicle the events leading up to and including the first LoveLoud Festival. The film was runner-up for the Festival Favorite Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and will premiere on HBO in June.
At a news conference at the UCCU Center before last year’s concert, Reynolds said his primary goal was simply to get people talking about LGBTQ issues, noting that the leading cause of death among teenagers in Utah is suicide. (And suicide is the second-leading cause of death among all teenagers nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
He said he could no longer ignore the “divide between my religion and the LGBTQ community.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that while same-sex attraction is not a sin, acting upon that attraction is — a teaching that is problematic for young people already struggling to balance the ideals of their faith against their own nature.
“I decided I wanted to put together an organization whose goal is to have conversations that are sometimes painful, sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes take people out of their comfort zones,” Reynolds said then. “… I was taught from a young age that if you want to make a difference in the world, you start with your community.”
The 2017 iteration drew 17,000 concertgoers to Brent Brown Ballpark in Orem, helped in part when the LDS Church reached out to Reynolds in the weeks leading up to the concert, offering an endorsement via a statement of support on its newsroom website.
Doors for the 2018 LoveLoud Festival will open at 2 p.m. and the music is set to begin at 3:30. The festival will feature food, beverages and a number of activities.