Coachella Music Fest sues promoter Live Nation for trademark violation
The Coachella Music Festival filed a trademark-infringement suit Monday against Live Nation Entertainment over a competitive event produced by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians named “Coachella Day One 22,” which is advertised on Live Nation’s Ticketmaster marketplace.
Like the annual Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, Twenty-Nine Palms’ Coachella Day One 22 event is advertised as an outdoor live music event that features numerous forms of entertainment and artists, and is located in close proximity to the site where the Coachella Valley festival is held, according to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court.
The plaintiffs allege in the complaint that the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, operating as Coachella Crossroads, are “intentionally trading on the goodwill” of the Coachella event, causing a likelihood of “consumer confusion and false association” with the original event.
The plaintiffs state that the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians and Coachella Crossroads — collectively referred to as Twenty-Nine Palms — are not named as defendants in the action because both have asserted through their counsel that they are entitled to sovereign immunity, and not subject to suit. Attorneys for the Coachella Valley festival say that Twenty- Nine Palms may be added as defendants at a later date.
“Twenty-Nine Palms has gone to great lengths to imitate” the plaintiffs’ Coachella and associated trademarks, the suit contends.
Attempts to reach a Twenty-Nine Palms representative were not immediately successful.
The Coachella festival was not held in person in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, a virtual Coachella event took place instead. The multi-day event is scheduled to return next year on April 15-17 and April 22-24.
The plaintiffs — including Coachella Valley event producer Goldenvoice — say they have no objection to Twenty-Nine Palms holding a festival of their own or hosting events at their venue, but it must adopt and use an event name, venue name and trademark that avoids the possibility of consumer confusion.
“Despite repeated requests from plaintiffs, Twenty-Nine Palms has refused to adopt its own distinctive event name or venue name and marks,” according to the lawsuit.
Coachella Crossroads — an outdoor entertainment complex located adjacent to the Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella — is advertising its first New Year’s Eve event, called Day One 22. It was not known when or if an event will take place at the venue in the spring.
Held annually at the Empire Polo Club in the desert, the Coachella Valley festival is among the most acclaimed contemporary music festivals in the world. The festival site, which includes the festival grounds, on-site camping, parking and support operations, encompasses over 800 acres. Attendance to the perennially sold-out festival, aggregated over the multi-day event, is estimated at 750,000 attendees, according to the plaintiffs.