Meeting the Neon Trees' front man, Tyler Glenn, is an exceptional experience. He is soft spoken and thoughtful, and yet he communicates powerfully his passion for helping LGBTQ youth. When his friend, Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons, called him about his idea to put on a concert to support, affirm, and reach out with love to the LGBTQ+ community, Tyler enthusiastically gave it his support. What emerged in 2017 was Utah's LOVELOUD festival.
Tyler lives in Salt Lake, and seeing this idea come to life here has been a dream come true. "It was a miracle," he said, " The festival has been astonishingly successful. Less because of tickets, but because of the hearts we have been able to touch." LOVELOUD reaches out to LGBTQ youth in several ways: by providing an event focused on love, understanding, kindness, and acceptance no matter who you are, by donating proceeds to local and national organizations that benefit the LGBTQ+ community, and by simply giving families an opportunity to talk about LGBTQ issues.
According to Glenn, "LOVELOUD is based in nothing but love and acceptance. When something exists to do that, hearts are changed. I think that's the essence and spirit of LOVELOUD." After the initial festival in 2017, two more were held before COVID, which cancelled the festivities in 2020 and 2021. LOVELOUD is back in 2022, and at a new venue as well - the Vivint Arena, home of the Utah Jazz. This is the first indoor LOVELOUD, and it's being made possible by a generous gift from Utah Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith.
"The queer community here is really tight knit. I think any musician I've talked to in the last decade plus loves coming to play here," Glenn said. Salt Lake has a strong LGBTQ+ community, including many fantastic individuals, business owners, advocacy groups and organizations that strive to make and keep Salt Lake a diverse, kind, and great place.
With a lineup including the Neon Trees, Dan Reynolds, Willow, Anitta, The Aces, Mat and Savanna Shaw, and more performers to be announced soon, the 2022 festival promises to be incredible. And with LOVELOUD hitting downtown Salt Lake for the first time in its history, it's a great opportunity to make a day of it - you can plan on eating downtown near the Vivint, and you can continue the party afterward at one of the many clubs and bars.
We're so thankful that LOVELOUD is here in Salt Lake spreading kindness and acceptance, and that Tyler was willing to be a part of our Salt of the Earth series.