Loving Loud: Dan Reynolds On Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth

dan with flag
Waving the Flag: Dan Reynolds’ LOVELOUD festival aims to help unconditionally love, understand, accept and support LGBTQ+ youth.

Imagine Dragons donates their time and money to a variety of causes, and one particularly close to frontman Dan Reynolds’ heart is the annual LOVELOUD music festival. Taking place in West Valley City, Utah, the event creates an LGBTQ+ community in an area that usually doesn’t have one. All proceeds from LOVELOUD go to the LOVELOUD Foundation, which supports various local and national LGBTQ+ charities. 

Reynolds’ motivation for creating the organization came from his upbringing. Raised in Las Vegas and attending BYU in Provo, Utah, Reynolds grew up spending the majority of his life in Mormonism. 

“I saw firsthand my friends go through really difficult periods in their life where they were trying to navigate faith in their home that went against who they were as a human and their gender and their choice of who they are, who they love and who they wish to be,” Reynolds tells Pollstar. “So Tyler, Glen and I came up with this festival in kind of the heartland of Mormonism, right in Utah. The leading cause of death among teenagers is suicide. And LGBTQ+ youth were, at the time, seven times more likely to take their life.”

Since first taking place in 2017, LOVELOUD has awarded grants to a number of organizations including The Trevor Project, Born Perfect, Equality Utah, Mormons Building Bridges, Q Christian Fellowship, Provo Pride and more. 

“It’s been a really beautiful thing to see the people of Utah rally together and get behind this cause and talk about how important it is that we celebrate our LGBTQ+ youth and help parents of Orthodox faith understand that before anything, their children need to be loved and celebrated and accepted.” 

With LOVELOUD’s success in Utah, Reynolds hopes to one day expand the event into other conservative areas across the United States. Reynolds knows plenty of communities that could benefit.

“There’s certainly a lot of cities, even just in the U.S., that have strong faith-based communities, organized religions,” Reynolds says. “And it’s not an attack on religion at all, or even Orthodox faith. But it just so happens that when a child is LGBTQ+ and born into a faith-based home, that path is a very hard path for them to navigate.”

Corrie Martin, Imagine Dragons’ booking agent, strongly believes in all the causes that Reynolds and the band donate their time toward. “They are a dream client for being incredible human beings and for making amazing music,” she tells Pollstar. “They are hard-working and they put their hearts out there and I feel incredibly lucky to be working with them.