LGBTQ advocates promote inclusion at LOVELOUD Festival kickoff party

Local News
SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) — Live loud and love loud. That’s the message behind a concert supporting the LGBTQ community.
 
Imagine Dragons is headlining the LOVELOUD concert Saturday night.
 
Governor Gary Herbert announced he’s dedicating July 29 as Love Loud Day in Utah.
 
Event organizers expect more than 40,000 Utahns to be at the festival. They also hope to raise $1 million to support local and national LGBTQ communities.
 
“There are times when you need to turn up the volume and love loud,” said Stephenie Larsen, an event organizer and the executive director at Encircle.
 
Larsen is one of many Utahns on a mission to promote inclusion to help the LGBTQ community feel loved.
 
“I will love you forever and for always because you are my dear one,” said Steve Eliason, a U.S. House Representative. “That’s the message that we need to get across to all of our youth to let them know that they are loved no matter what.”
 
At the LOVELOUD kickoff party, Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox revealed Governor Herbert’s dedication.
 
“We need to encourage the relevant and vital conversations about what it means to love each other unconditionally, understand our differences and include and support our LGBTQ plus friends and family members,” said Lt. Gov. Cox. “We refuse to tolerate any kind of bullying or intimidation and we raise our collective voices in opposition to such conduct.”
 
Dan Reynolds, the lead singer of Imagine Dragons, also came to the LOVELOUD kickoff party. Imagine Dragons is headlining the event.
 
“This has been such a little effort from me that it’s embarrassing to me that a white privileged straight man is now the talk of this love loud thing and I want to take that spotlight and put it where it should be, which is in people who’ve done this for a long time and the LGBTQ youth,” said Reynolds.
 
Advocates also showcased a house, which offers counseling, programs and friendship circles, located in Salt Lake City.
 
“We know that love and connection keeps people alive and we want these youths to know how important they are,” said Larsen.
 
About 17,000 people attended the 2017 LOVELOUD Concert. Larsen expects that number will more than double Saturday night.
 
If you’re headed to the LOVELOUD concert this weekend, the ride share company Lyft wants to help you get there. Lyft is partnering with the festival and will donate $5 for every ride to or from the even when riders use the promo code LOVELOUD. Lyft will provide two pickup and drop off locations. One is east of the stadium at the corner of 500 South and Guardsman Way and the other is west of the stadium at the northeast corner of South Campus Drive and University Street. 

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