Coachella Sued by Oregon Festival Over Radius Clause

Coachella festival crowd

Soul'd Out wants to keep the defendants from enforcing the so-called "radius clause" and also seeks attorneys' fees associated with the litigation.

The promoter of a music festival in Portland, Ore., is accusing AEG of anti-competitive behavior by refusing to allow Coachella musicians to play other regional events.

Soul'd Out Productions alleges that the so-called radius clause is a "monopolistic practice" that has injured its business, which is located over 1,000 miles from the site of Coachella. And Coachella's organizers exploit this, Soul'd Out claims, to monopolize the music festival market. Eagle then countersued React a year ago, alleging that the company signed several EDM artists into contracts containing radius clauses that "prohibited artists from playing anywhere up to within a 500 mile radius of React's event for periods of 60, 90, or 120 days prior to and following the date of the event" for their Chicago-area festivals. We have not heard back.

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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 company is now represented by Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt PC. "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". It seeks an injunction against the radius clause, and compensation for claimed damages. It concluded that anti-competition dealings used by Coachella, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza have negative effects on venues in their cities "either through foreclosure, which dampens competition, or increased barriers to entry".

One big mystery in this entire ordeal is just how wide Coachella's radius has grown over the years. Lawyer Nicholas F. Aldrich, who is representing Soul'd Out, is arguing that radius clauses do not hugely benefit Coachella since the festival sells out months in advance, and is asking the court to toss out the radius clause agreements.

KGW reached out to the parent company that produces Coachella.

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