Appeals Court Revives Lawsuit Against Coachella Over Artist Radius Clauses

Back in 2018, Oregon-based promotion company Soul’d Out Productions filed a lawsuit against Coachella claiming its restrictive radius clause was in violation of anti-trust law. The suit was dismissed soon thereafter.

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a federal judge’s dismissal of this case., concluding that Soul’d Out “should be able to attempt to vindicate an alleged right to enter into contracts with artists free from AEG’s interference,” writes THR.

Coachella’s radius clause was released as part of public records associated with the suit, though there are exceptions:

  • Coachella artists cannot play any North American festival from December 15 to May 1
  • Coachella artists can not play hard ticket concerts in Southern California from December 15 to May 1
  • Coachella artists can’t advertise, publicize or leak sets at competing festivals in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington or Arizona or headliner concerts in Southern California that take place between May 1 and May 7
  • Coachella artists can’t reveal festival appearances for the other 45 states in the US until after the Coachella lineup is announced in January. Exceptions apply for SXSW, Ultra Music Festival and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
  • Coachella artists must wait for January lineup announcement before announcing tours in California, Arizona, Washington and Oregon. Exceptions apply to Las Vegas club shows.

The suit was originally rejected because the district court ruled Soul’d Out had no standing to assert claims since the plaintiff was not a party to those objectionable Coachella contracts.

“To the extent the district court dismissed those claims for lack of standing, we think the court erred,” states the opinion. “Soul’d Out’s allegations satisfy the Article III requirements for standing: Soul’d Out alleged a concrete and particularized injury, namely the loss of lucrative performance contracts with artists under contract with AEG; Soul’d Out also alleged that AEG’s wrongful conduct caused that injury; and a judgment in Soul’d Out’s favor could, either through damages or injunctive relief, redress the harm. Although Soul’d Out is not a party to the artists’ contracts with AEG, we have previously determined that an injured party may assert tort claims predicated on a contract’s alleged invalidity, despite not being a party to the contract.”

Here’s the full opinion.


via THR | Photo courtesy of Coachella