Coachella Music Festival and producer Goldenvoice are suing Live Nation for trademark infringement over a music event called ‘Coachella Day One 22’, which is advertised on Ticketmaster.
The 31 December event is being organised by Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians at a Southern California venue it has named Coachella Crossroads.
‘Plaintiffs have no objection to Twenty-Nine Palms holding a festival of their own or hosting events at their venue, but it must adopt and use an event name and mark, as well as a venue name and mark, that avoid a likelihood of consumer confusion and false association with Plaintiffs,” states in the filing in the Los Angeles district court.
“Despite repeated requests from plaintiffs, Twenty-Nine Palms has refused to adopt its own distinctive event name or venue name and marks. Twenty-Nine Palms has even copied plaintiffs’ advertising, promotional and marketing materials, including incorporating similar color schemes along with design elements.”
The claimants note that Twenty-Nine Palms has refused to change the names of Coachella Day One 22 and Coachella Crossroads, despite numerous requests. However, the promoter is not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit as it is asserting through its lawyers that it is entitled to sovereign immunity.
Although Twenty-Nine Palms may have sovereign immunity, others contributing to the infringement do not have the same privilege
“Although Twenty-Nine Palms may have sovereign immunity, others contributing to the infringement do not have the same privilege and are subject to claims for contributory infringement as well as the court’s jurisdiction,” adds the suit.
“Accordingly, Plaintiffs have been forced to file this action to protect the Coachella trademarks and service marks from infringement, and unfair competition, and to protect the public from the likelihood of confusion.”
According to the lawsuit, Coachella and Goldenvoice sent cease and desist letters to both Live Nation and Twenty-Nine Palms in late October.
“The letter further demanded that Live Nation immediately cease all sales of tickets for the Coachella Day One 22 event, and any other music festivals, live music performances or similar events at the Coachella Crossroads, and remove all use of Coachella from any advertising for the event or venue, including on its website.
“Upon receipt of the October 28, 2021, cease and desist letter, Live Nation changed the listing… on ticketmaster.com to read ‘Day One 22’ rather than ‘Coachella Day One 22’. The event, however, continues to be advertised as Coachella Day One 22 in certain Live Nation advertising and in other advertising associated with the event.
“Despite knowing about the infringing conduct, Live Nation continued to provide services supporting Twenty-Nine Palms’ infringement and have materially encouraged, enabled, and contributed to the infringing conduct.”
Goldenvoice’s Coachella Festival is scheduled to return to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California from 15-17 and 22-24 April 2022. Its last two in-person editions were cancelled due to Covid-19.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.