US: Coachella owner sued in antitrust case

The owner of music festival Coachella was hit with a lawsuit in Oregon federal court on Monday, April 9, claiming the California mega-festival employs anti-competitive practices, such as barring artists from performing at other musical events within approximately 1,300 miles in the months surrounding the spring happening.

Billboard is reporting that Coachella parent company Goldenvoice has been sued over the festival’s radius clause by the organizers of Soul’d Out, a festival in Portland. According to the lawsuit, this year’s Coachella radius clause is particularly restrictive, prohibiting musicians from performing at any “festivals or themed events” within a five-state radius of Coachella’s California venue during the five-month period stretching from December 2017 to May 2018. If the suit is representing the facts accurately, that means Coachella performers are contractually prohibited from playing any other West Coast festivals this spring.

Soul’d Out’s organizers are suing GoldenVoice in federal court, claiming that Coachella’s radius clause violates antitrust law in the service of “an illegal monopoly in the market for live music festival performances,” Billboard reports. Attorneys for Soul’d Out told Billboard that the organizers filed after attempting to book artists SZA and Daniel Caesar for their festival and being turned down because of Coachella’s clause. They pointed out that Portland is 1,000 miles from Indio, where Coachella is located. The suit also accuses Goldenvoice of selectively enforcing the clause, allowing artists to play other Goldenvoice festivals within the radius but refusing to offer waivers to outside promoters.

Full Content: Billboard

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