Organisers of Coachella have ordered UK charity MS Trust to change the name of its online fundraising festival Couch-ella.
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.”
The online festival will go ahead on August 22 and will feature comedy, music, yoga, dance and arts for people to view from home.
Our festival has a new name! The people running the real Coachella won’t let us use ‘COUCH-ella’ so we’re changing the name to MS Trust Home Festival. The event is still going ahead, with the same festival fun to be had – just without the soft furnishings😉https://t.co/T1feD96Qy6 pic.twitter.com/K2bjVjbWeK
— MSTrust (@MSTrust) July 24, 2020
Comedian John Shuttleworth and Mr Motivator are due to make an appearance.
MS Trust’s chief executive David Martin said lawyers warned of “possible confusion” between the charity’s event and the US festival.
“They asked us to reconsider our name and see if there was something else we could use to avoid confusion,” Mr Martin said.
“Half of me thought ‘Shall we take them head-on?’ but in reality when lawyers get involved it costs a lot and we didn’t want to waste any of the charity’s money.”
All 2020 tickets will be honoured for the 2021 festival.
“We can’t wait to be together in the desert again when it is safe,” the organisers recently said.
This will be the first year that Coachella has not taken place since 2000, which was the year after its inaugural edition.