Indian tribe responds to Coachella Valley Music Festival lawsuit


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On Thursday, the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians responded to a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival against the online ticket seller for the Tribe’s New Years Eve event, in originally known as “Coachella DayOne22”.

Although Coachella and parent company AEG have not directly sued Twenty-Nine Palms – the tribe enjoys sovereign immunity – Indian group chairman Darrell Mike said the complaint was a “direct attack on us and the region “.

The plaintiffs allege that the tribe is “intentionally negotiating the goodwill” of the annual Coachella festival, causing the potential for “consumer confusion and false association” with the original event.

In a statement, Mike said the dispute reflected “the increased competitive nature of music events in the region and the attempt to monopolize Coachella’s location as a brand name owned only.”

A federal judge in Los Angeles this week granted Coachella Valley Festival and AEG a temporary injunction ending online promotion and ticket sales for the tribe’s NYE ​​event, which rapper Lil Wayne is in. headlining at a venue called Coachella Crossroads.

Like the Coachella Valley Festival, the Tribe Event is billed as an outdoor music festival that features many forms of entertainment and performers.

“Twenty-Nine Palms went to great lengths to emulate” Coachella from AEG and associated trademarks, the lawsuit says.

But in its statement, the tribe said AEG was trying to claim “ownership” of the Coachella name, “even though their event is not taking place at Coachella,” but rather at Indio.

“In the midst of this affair, suppliers are threatened that if they work with the tribe to produce DayOne22, they will be squeezed out as suppliers” for future AEG events.

Mike said that while the tribe has no obligation to do so, “we have respectfully removed Coachella from the title of our event on online marketing and sales material. We hope that we can move away from this question, so that DayOne22 taking place at Coachella Crossroads, Coachella, can be celebrated in the spirit for which it was created.

The Coachella Festival did not take place in person in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A virtual Coachella event took place instead. The multi-day event is scheduled to return next year from April 15-17 and April 22-24.

AEG says they have no objection to the tribe having their own festival or hosting events at their Coachella Crossroads venue, but they must adopt and use an event name, venue name and brand that avoid the possibility of confusion for consumers.

Held annually at the Empire Polo Club, the Coachella Valley Festival is one of the most acclaimed contemporary music festivals in the world. The festival site, which includes the festival grounds, on-site camping, parking and support operations, spans over 800 acres.

Participation in the sold-out festival, accumulated over the event lasting several days, is estimated at 750,000 participants, according to the complainants.

Indian tribe responds to Coachella Valley Music Festival lawsuit was last modified: 23 December 2021 through Contributing editor

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Gerald R. Schneider