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LoveLoud Festival at Rice-Eccles Stadium offers strong message for at-risk LGBTQ youth

Posted at 9:44 PM, Jul 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-28 23:44:46-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Dan Reynolds, frontman for Imagine Dragons, is the person credited with bringing the LoveLoud Festival together.

The goal is to offer support for at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

"To change the culture," Reynolds said. "To destigmatize this so that we can stop having this conversation.”

A press conference was held to share the purpose of Saturday night's concert.

"That’s why we’re here today," LoveLoud Director Lance Lowry said. "To hopefully raise $1 million to give back to these people who are the boots on the ground to make a difference.”

Some well-known television stars threw their support behind the cause.

“LoveLoud is amazing because it just brings such a big voice and it’s such an important initiative as well as raising funds for a bunch of different LGBTQ communities," Drew Scott with HGTV's Property Brothers said. "I think that’s really amazing.”

Also attending was Joshua Rush, who stars as The Disney Channel's first openly gay character in "Andi Mack."

“I'm so proud to be here and to be representing," Rush said. "I think it’s going to be really exciting and a really fun day.”

Others who spoke before the big show included comedian Dana Goldberg.

"Today I'm speaking about being brave, I think it takes an incredible amount of bravery in this world to live authentically and out on who you are," Goldberg said. "I also think it takes a lot of bravery as a parent for LGBTQ youth in a society and religion that’s telling them unless they act this way you can accept them and love them."

From the press conference, to the red carpet and to the concert, the message was the same.

"They’re not flawed, they’re not broken. They’re brilliant."

Last year's concert was held at a baseball stadium. Organizers say this year the outreach has been so much better.

"One year ago at this time, LoveLoud didn’t have a venue, didn’t have production, didn’t have any sponsors," Lowry said. "Thank you for being willing to take a chance on us.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement in support of the LoveLoud Festival.

"We appreciate the sincere efforts of many who are trying to prevent suicide, bullying, and homelessness among vulnerable groups, including LGBT youth. We are grateful to be a part of the work to find solutions.”

"This is not a Mormon problem," Reynolds said. "This is an orthodox religion issue."

Amit Paley with The Trevor Project said the LoveLoud Festival has a message of love.

"Just for the LGBTQ youth watching this and if you’re feeling alone, please know that you are never alone," Paley said before adding, "We have so much work to do, a lot of work to do.”