- Eric Vidal/Reuters
Bill Gates enjoys music as much as the next person. But according to Paul Tollett, the founder of the uber-successful music festival Coachella, the billionaire philanthropist can’t help but indulge his nerdier side.
Tollett, speaking to New Yorker writer John Seabrook for a recent profile, said Gates actually found the time to attend (or at least stop by) Coachella one year. (Some photo evidence suggests it might have been 2015.)
Initially, Gates remarked the festival could “last forever,” as Seabrook writes, but he quickly amended the statement, listing the various “isms” that could spell disaster for the crowd of 99,000.
“Terrorism, botulism – you name it,” Tollett said. “The guy’s a walking actuarial table.”
Earlier this year, Gates spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, about the threat of bioterrorism – or the intentional use of harmful diseases on a population.
“I think an epidemic, either naturally caused or intentionally caused, is the most likely thing to cause, say, 10,000 excess deaths,” Gates said.
More recently, he wrote an op-ed warning about the dangers of airborne pathogens on public health.
“Epidemiologists say a fast-moving airborne pathogen could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year,” he said. “And they say there is a reasonable probability the world will experience such an outbreak in the next 10-15 years.”
Such a deadly pandemic hasn’t occurred in recent history, Gates concedes, but he also says that should provide no comfort as to the possibility of one happening in the future – at Coachella or otherwise.