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Coachella owner sues Ghana Afrochella Music Festival

Coachella owner sues Ghana Afrochella Music Festival

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and its organizer Goldenvoice are suing a Ghanaian music festival called Afrochella for alleged trademark infringement, according to court documents obtained by Gallow.

Coachella Festival, event organizers sue African festival “Afrochella” by name

In a lawsuit filed in California federal court on Wednesday, Coachella and Goldenvoice claimed that Afrochella is:

“Intentionally trading with the goodwill of [Coachella and Goldenvoice’s] well-known festivals and trademarks of COACHELLA and CHELLA by actively promoting musical events in the United States and Ghana using the confusingly similar trademark ‘AFROCHELLA’ and fraudulently attempting to register the actual trademarks of the Claimants as their own.”

Afrochella 2022 will take place on December 28-29 in Accra, Ghana, with headliners including headliners Burna Boy and Stonebwoy, along with Ayra Starr, Firebox DML, among others.

Afrochella continues to expand its offending behavior by promoting events in the Los Angeles area

While the event in question will take place in Africa, the lawsuit alleges that Afrochella amplified its infringing conduct by promoting events under Afrochella’s name in the Los Angeles area.”

This year, Afrochella “expanded his offending behavior to United States by promoting, presenting and/or sponsoring at least seven different music events using the brand AFROCHELA in the Los Angeles area, and have refused to restrict your infringing use of Plaintiff’s trademarks, which requires the filing of this federal lawsuit,” the court documents state.

Singers Tyga and Doja Cat perform on the main stage during Weekend 2, Day 3 of the 2022 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 24, 2022 in Indio, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella)

Coachella and its organizers added that those behind Afrochella have “refused to adopt their own distinctive event name…despite repeated requests from the Plaintiffs.”

“Despite repeated requests from Plaintiffs, Defendants have refused to adopt their own name and event hallmarks and, as a result, instances of real confusion have already surfaced on social media.”

Coachella reportedly first warned Afrochella about trademark infringement in 2016, according to the 30-page lawsuit. Event organizers included a screenshot of one of Afrochella’s promoters describing the concert as a “Coachella-themed event.”

Second trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Coachella festival organizers since last year

Representatives for Coachella and Goldenvoice, as well as representatives for Afrochella, did not immediately respond to Pitchfork’s request for comment.

Last year, Coachella and Goldenvoice filed a similar lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment for trademark infringement, the outlet reports.

That complaint was in connection with an event organized and promoted by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Missing Indians called Coachella Day One 22.

In that case, Live Nation Entertainment was sued for selling tickets to the event, thereby infringing on Coachella’s trademarks.

That lawsuit was settled earlier this year.


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