Coachella sued over restrictive contract clause

Oregon promoter claims the festival is running "an illegal monopoly"

The Oregon-based promoter Soul’d Out Productions – which runs yearly event Soul’d Out Music Festival – has filed a lawsuit against Coachella’s AEG-owned organisers Goldenvoice.

As Billboard reports, Soul’d Out are arguing that the radius clause in Coachella performers’ contracts – preventing them from booking any other festival appearances within 1,300 miles of Indio, California between December 2017 and May 2018 – goes against federal anti-trust laws.

The alleged clause effectively restricts Coachella performers from playing festivals in five states that surround California within that time period. Soul’d Out’s organisers claim that Coachella holds “an illegal monopoly in the market for live music festival performances.”

Soul’d Out claim that numerous artists including SZA and Daniel Caesar declined to play Soul’d Out Music Festival due to this radius clause.

Lawyer Nicholas F Aldrich, who is representing Soul’d Out, argues that Goldenvoice and AEG are “limiting entry or expansion of competitors” in “the states of California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, or Arizona”.

Goldenvoice has publicly responded to the lawsuit, issuing the following statement to Celebrity Access:

“Radius clauses are common in the concert business where promoters take great risk and spend huge sums to produce marquee festivals, tours and other shows. With over 100,000 fans attending each of its two weekends, Coachella is a premier festival destination attracting visitors from across the region and around the world. The producers of Coachella will vigorously defend against this lawsuit, which calls into question a long-standing industry practice that is crucial to our ability to continue offering fans the unrivaled experience for which Coachella has become known.”

Beyoncé, The Weeknd and Eminem are confirmed as headliners for this year’s Coachella, with the former reportedly preparing for the festival with 11 hour long rehearsals.