Goldenvoice has been hit with a lawsuit from a promoter in Oregon that claims the company uses “monopolistic practices” to keep artists from playing the promoter’s festival if they play the Coachella festival in Indio, California.
Soul’d Out Productions, which runs the Soul’d Out Music Festival, scheduled this year for April 18-22 and includes Erykah Badu, Wyclef Jean and De La Soul, among others, claims that a “contractual restriction” prohibits artists of playing “at any other festival or themed event within a distance that extends over 1,300 miles” for five months before or after Coachella, according to the Portland Business Journal. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court’s Oregon courthouse today and names defendants Goldenvoice, Coachella Music Festival, AEG Presents, Anschutz Entertainment Group and The Anschutz Corp.
“Soul’d Out Productions, located over 1,000 miles from Coachella claims that it has been injured by the defendants’ anti-competitive practices, with artists unwilling to perform at the Soul’d Out Festival under threat from the defendants,” a representative for Soul’d Out told the Journal.
The suit alleges the radius clause violates Federal and state antitrust laws in Oregon and California, and organizers claim it has caused artists to decline an offer to play at Soul’d Out.
“We seek no less than to operate in a fair and open environment,” Soul’d Out Productions co-owner and co-founder Nicholas Harris in a statement. “But as our industry has become more consolidated, it is subjected to more and more corporate tactics that penalize the public. Music, and the culture that births it, is not a commodity to be exploited. It is meant to inspire and enrich our lives.”
The suit wants to bar Coachella and AEG from enforcing contracts that contain this or similar radius clauses and “seeks treble damages from injuries caused by their unlawful actions and attorneys’ fees spent bringing this lawsuit.”
A Goldenvoice representative issued CelebrityAccess the following statement:
“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. “