Judge grants Coachella festival restraining order against competing event

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A judge has awarded organizers of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival a victory by granting a temporary injunction against the advertisers of a New Year’s event with a similar name, according to court documents obtained today.

The festival filed a trademark infringement lawsuit last week against Live Nation Entertainment for “Coachella Day One 22,” produced by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians and advertised on Live Nation’s Ticketmaster platform.

Like the annual Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival, the Twenty-Nine Palms event is billed as an outdoor music festival that features many forms of entertainment and performers. The New Years Eve event is located near the desert site where the Coachella Valley event normally takes place in April, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles.

The plaintiffs allege that the Twenty-Nine Palms Mission Indian Band, operating as Coachella Crossroads – also the name of its venue, located five miles from the Coachella Valley festival site – “is intentionally negotiating on goodwill Of the Coachella festival, causing a risk of “consumer confusion and false association” with the original event.

In a one-minute order issued Monday night, US District Judge R. Gary Klausner granted a temporary injunction to website host Bluehost, preventing it from promoting “Coachella Day One 22” online. Second, the judge
ordered Live Nation to stop promoting and selling tickets for the Twenty-Nine Palms event on its Ticketmaster.com platform.

The plaintiffs say in the lawsuit that the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians and Coachella Crossroads – collectively referred to as Twenty-Nine Palms – are not named as defendants in the action because they both claimed through their lawyer that they had the right to sovereign immunity, and not subject to prosecution.

Lawyers for the Coachella Valley festival have said Twenty-Nine Palms may be added as a defendant at a later date.

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

Attempts to reach a representative of Twenty-Nine Palms were not immediately successful.

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

The plaintiffs – including Coachella Valley event producer Goldenvoice – say they have no objection to Twenty-Nine Palms having their own festival or holding events at their venue, but they must adopt and use a event name, a place name and a trademark that avoids the possibility of confusion for the consumer.

“Despite repeated requests from the plaintiffs, Twenty-Nine Palms has refused to adopt its own event name or its own place name and trademarks,” according to the lawsuit.

Although Coachella Crossroads – the outdoor entertainment complex next to Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella – advertised Day 22, it was unclear when or if an event would take place at the site in the spring.

Held annually at the Empire Polo Club in the desert, 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.

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

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