LDS church supports Imagine Dragons, LGBTQ festival
(KUTV) Imagine Dragons frontman, Dan Reynolds, helped organize the first ever LoveLoud Festival, a music event that celebrated LGBTQ equality and discussed teen suicide and depression.
Six other bands performed, including Neon Trees and Walk the Moon.
Dan Reynolds is a member of the LDS Church and a former student at BYU. He says Utah is like a second home.
"My entire life, I grew up seeing a divide between orthodox religion and the LGBTQ community," he said.
When Reynolds learned suicide is the leading cause of death for young Utahns and that LGBTQ youths are even more likely to die from suicide, he knew he had to do something.
"We all can agree our LGBTQ youth need us right now. So today is about coming together, putting aside all our differences," Reynolds said.
LGBTQ nonprofits GLAAD and The Trevor Project also teamed up to help promote awareness of teen and LGBTQ suicide.
"It's not often a straight Mormon rock star calls us up at GLAAD and says, hey I want to throw a concert in Utah!" Zeke Stokes of GLAAD said.
It's not just LGBTQ groups backing LoveLoud. Last week, the Mormon Church issued a statement commending LoveLoud for the work they're doing to help protect Utah's young adults.
"Music is something that unites everyone," said festival director Lance Lowery.
About 17-thousand people filled the UCCU stadium in Orem Saturday night to celebrate equality and talk about differences.
"The goal is to bring people together to ignite conversation and dialogue within a community about what it truly means to love and accept our LGBTQ youth," said Reynolds.
Reynolds said LoveLoud will be an annual event.
The Trevor Project is the nation's largest LGBTQ youth suicide prevention hotline.
If you need help, call 1-866 4-U-Trevor or visit their website TheTrevorProject.org.