Coachella Sued by Oregon Festival Over Radius Clause

The Oregon festival tried to book SZA, Daniel Caesar, and a few other artists but was turned down due to the radius clause.

Coachella is set to kick off this Friday in Indio, California, and will run across two weekends before wrapping up on April 22nd. "Such a clause has a substantial chilling effect on the market for music venues within the territory covered by the Radius Clause". The clause keeps artists who play Coachella from playing states on the west coast and extends to Arizona and Nevada during a five-month period from December until May.

Coachella is an annual musical event near Palm Desert, California nearly 1,100 miles from Portland. "We look forward to having a Portland jury hear Soul'd Out's complaint".

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The Oregon-based promotor, Soul'D Out Productions filed a lawsuit against the AEG-owned company that puts on the popular Coachella, Goldenvoice. "The restriction on the ability of these artists to choose performance venues has thus affected a substantial volume of commerce on the West Coast and has an anticompetitive effect on the consumer, music venues and festivals on the West Coast, and promoters of such events - entirely as a outcome of Defendants' strong-arming and leveraging tactics".

The suit claims that Coachella's practice violates federal antitrust laws, as well as antitrust laws in OR and California.

The plaintiff seeks a declaration that the radius clause is unenforceable and an injunction. "The argument that consumers would be hurt is that the artists don't have a choice [of where to play]", Carrier told The Outline by phone. But he questioned the continent-wide swath cut by Coachella. In any event, Carrier says that the Coachella case could have a significant impact in an industry where such clauses are commonplace. Their event happens almost 900 miles away from the Coachella Valley.

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One big mystery in this entire ordeal is just how wide Coachella's radius has grown over the years.

Evidently, Soul'd Out's goal is "to bar Coachella and its AEG affiliates from enforcing any performance contracts that contain such a radius clause, and also seeks treble damages from injuries caused by their unlawful actions and attorneys' fees spent bringing this lawsuit".

The people behind the festival are not staying completely silent, however.

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KGW reached out to the parent company that produces Coachella.

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