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Coachella has hit a bum note with an Oregon music festival, and it’s led to a lawsuit filed against the annual gathering in Indio, California.
The organizers of the Soul’d Out Music Festival in Portland, Oregon, has sued Coachella Music Festival LLC, AEG and others, contending that a “radius clause” placed on artists who perform at Coachella is unfair.
“This is an action alleging antitrust, unfair competition, tortious interference, and unlawful restraint on trade arising from the deliberate use of contractual agreements to engage in anticompetitive behavior and to create an illegal monopoly in the market for live music festival concert performances,” the suit, filed in federal court in Oregon, reads.
According to the suit, the clause bars artists from performing “at any other music festival in any state on the entire West Coast of the United States, in addition to Arizona and Nevada, for nearly half the year surrounding their performance at Coachella.”
The suit says that the Soul’d Out festival is a considerably smaller affair than Coachella, drawing a predominantly regional audience. Nonetheless, and despite the events occur more than 1,000 miles from each other, the suit says that the clause has caused problems for the Portland festival.
“For example, numerous artists have declined to perform at the Soul’d Out Music Festival, and have cited the unlawful Radius Clause in their contracts with Coachella as the sole reason that they cannot do so,” the suit reads.
The suit says that planned Soul’d Out performances by New Orleans-based funk.soul group Tank and the Bangas, an and R&B singer-songwriter SZA have run into problems because of the clause.
TheWrap has reached out to AEG and Coachella for comment on the lawsuit.
“Radius clauses such as the one in Defendants’ agreements are expressly forbidden by California. Moreover, the scope of Coachella’s Radius Clause is an unlawful restraint on trade, meant to use Coachella’s market power in the music festival market to suppress competition by other festivals,” the lawsuit adds.
The suit is seeking a judgment that the radius clause is “void, invalid, and unenforceable,” along with unspecified damages.
This year’s Coachella festival is slated to kick off April 13.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.