Coachella promoter Goldenvoice has won a temporary restraining order against Live Nation over an upcoming festival called Coachella Day One 22.
According to Rolling Stone, Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled that Coachella and Goldenvoice are “likely to succeed” in proving the infringement. This will mean some branding changes but the ruling will not, however, prevent the concert from going ahead as planned.
Billboard originally reported that Goldenvoice filed a lawsuit for trademark infringement on December 13 at the US District Court in California. The suit was levelled against Live Nation and not, as would be conventional, against the festival’s organisers the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians. This is because the indigenous tribe that operates the venue Coachella Crossroads is “entitled to sovereign immunity and therefore not subject to suit.”
The lawsuit stated that Goldenvoice filed two separate cease-and-desist letters to Live Nation over promoting and selling tickets to the event in October and November respectively, as well as Bluehost, the hosting platform for the festival’s website coachellacrossroads.com.
Twenty-Nine Palms, meanwhile, had previously tried to register a “Coachella Crossroads” trademark which they failed to do due to potential confusion with Coachella. But they successfully revised their application, saying they would only host community and sports events. They have since promoted music-related events at the venue, including a Toby Keith concert in May 2021.
In issuing the temporary restraining order, Judge Klausner called Live Nation’s argument “simply unpersuasive,” adding it “does not rebut the presumption of irreparable harm.”
The charity, which supports anyone affected by multiple sclerosis, said lawyers for the US festival, held annually in the Californian desert, told it the “chella” suffix was trademarked.
A spokeswoman for the MS Trust, who said organisers of Coachella got in touch on July 23, told BBC News: “We’ve had to change the name to ‘MS Trust Home Festival’. We are, of course, devastated by this, but the festival will still go ahead as planned.”