Goldenvoice, the AEG-owned company that founded and promotes the Coachella Valley Music and Artist Festival, filed a complaint Tuesday in a California U.S. District Court claiming that a new festival called Coachella Day One 22 and connected to its chief rival, Live Nation, infringes on the original festival’s trademark.
In the complaint, Goldenvoice accuses Live Nation of contributory infringement for advertising and selling tickets to the new festival on its Ticketmaster website and mobile app; the news was first reported by Billboard.
However, Goldenvoice’s decision to sue Live Nation rather than the festival’s promoter — the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, a Native American tribe which is shielded from legal action due to sovereign immunity — speaks to the larger and long-running rivalry between the the two companies. Publicly held Live Nation is the world’s largest entertainment company, while AEG Presents is privately owned by Phil Anschutz’s AEG.
The first Coachella festival was held in Indio, Calif. in 1999 and took place every year through 2019 except for 2000; it has been postponed several times since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in early 2020 but is scheduled to take place over two weekends in April of next year.
Coachella Day One 22 is slated for Dec. 31 with headliners DJ Diesel and veteran Bay Area rapper E-40.
In the complaint, Goldenvoice accused Live Nation of contributory infringement, despite being sent two separate cease-and-desist letters since October. The complaint further states that Ticketmaster — which is wholly owned by Live Nation — also advertises and sells tickets to other music events hosted at Coachella Crossroads, the venue where the new festival is scheduled to take place.
Also named as a defendant in the suit is Bluehost (d/b/a Unified Layer), the service provider for the website coachellacrossroads.com.
Goldenvoice is also asking the court to award it damages for infringement as well as unfair competition, charging that the defendants are “intentionally trading on the goodwill of” the Coachella name by promoting “a directly competitive live music event,” as well as copying the look of the original festival’s imaging.
According to the complaint, Coachella Day One 22 is described as “part festival, part carnival, and part circus” and that it advertises such features as LED installations, interactive environments, aerial artists, live painters and more — all echoing the original Coachella’s mixture of live music and art.
Goldenvoice claims all of this creates “a likelihood of consumer confusion and false association” between the unrelated events.
Reps for Live Nation, Goldenvoice and AEG Presents either declined or did not immediately respond to Variety’s requests for comment.