An Oregon promoter who sued Coachella over its extensive radius clause, has refiled their case after a federal judgedismissed portions of the lawsuit earlier this month but left room for it to be refiled.
On Thursday, attorney Nika Aldrich refiled his lawsuit on behalf of Portland, Oregon’s Soul’d Out Productions, alleging that Coachella’s expansive radius clause violated anti-trust law against monopolies. On Oct. 7, District of Oregon Judge Michael Mosman partially granted AEG’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by Soul’D Out Productions, but gave the Oregon promoter leave to refill the lawsuit if they amended their definition of relevant markets, one of the key factors in evaluating an antitrust case. Mosman also declined to rule on several other key elements of the lawsuit, including unfair competition claims.
The refiled lawsuit claims that the policy negatively impacts the Pacific Northwest concert promoter market and claims that AEG negotiates Coachella’s radius clause with other promoters, which Aldrich argues constitutes an “unlawful horizontal restraint on trade.” He also argues the radius clause, which bars artists playing Coachella from playing any other festival in North America from December to May and bars them from “advertising, publicizing or leaking” festival appearances until after the Coachella announcement, constrains the ability of promoters “on the West Coast to book talent, and the ability for the consuming public to enjoy public performances of these artists.”
Aldrich’s client Soul’D Productions hosts an annual music festival in Portland. According to Aldrich, several artists had to turn down the Oregon event because of the Coachella radius clause, and in one case, Tank and the Bangas had to cancel their appearance because of Coachella. The suit also alleges that Soul’D Out was unable to book SZA and Daniel Caesar because of the radius clause issue.
As part of the amended lawsuit, Aldrich is asking for an injunction preventing Coachella from enforcing its radius clause and is asking AEG to pay triple damages “as a result of AEG’s antitrust violations and anticompetitive behavior.”
Throughout his 69-page complaint (read it here), Aldrich makes the case that radius clauses, like the one used by Coachella organizer Goldenvoice, have anti-competitive effects both in the U.S., and in Canada and Mexico, arguing the policy unreasonably “reaches far beyond the open air festival market in which Coachella competes.”
“By restricting artists who perform at Coachella from performing at other festivals, AEG is reducing the supply of artists, which increases the costs for other festivals, limits consumer choice, and reduces artist, promoter, venue, and agent income,” Aldrich writes.
Besides an injunction and triple damages, Aldrich wants AEG to notify all artists playing Coachella they will be allowed to play Soul’D Out Music Festival. AEG’s attorneys will likely file a new motion to dismiss the amended complaint before the end of the year.