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Coachella sues Hoodchella over name

The lawsuit claims the LA indie festival and its organiser, Kamil Al-Ahdali, are guilty of trademark infringement, cybersquatting and more

By IQ on 01 Feb 2016

Coachella 2014, Alan Paone

Sunset at Coachella 2014

image © Alan Paone

Coachella organiser Goldenvoice has filed a lawsuit against indie festival Hoodchella, alleging that the similarly named event infringes on its trademarks, dilutes its brand and encourages unfair competition.

The first Hoodchella, organised by Kamil Al-Ahdali, was held in Los Angeles on 11 April 2015, half-way through the first weekend of last year’s Coachella (10–12 April). Al-Ahdali plans to expand the event to three days for 2016 – 8, 9 and 10 April – on the weekend before Coachella.

The lawsuit centres on the similarity of Hoodchella’s name to Coachella’s, and also alleges that the festival’s website, at www.hoodchella.com, constitutes cybersquatting. Goldenvoice, a subsidiary of AEG Live, claims in the suit that “Al-Ahdali has ignored repeated requests from plaintiffs to adopt his own distinctive festival name”.

“Al-Ahdali has ignored repeated requests from plaintiffs to adopt his own distinctive festival name”

Rolling Stone reports that Goldenvoice/Coachella is seeking US$100,000 plus the abandonment of the Hoodchella name.

A petition to ‘Save Hoodchella‘ has notched up 309 signatures so far (as of 13.00 on 1 February). In the petition, the festival says: “Everyone who supports Hoodchella Los Angeles […] knows that we are not in anyway associated with Coachella and we have never been associated with Goldenvoice AEG, or Coachella. It’s clear that our fan base knows we are two completely different establishments, being that we already gained a fan base from our past underground art and music shows.”

Coachella 2016 takes place from 15 to 17 and 22 to 24 April in Indo, California, and will be headlined by Guns n’ Roses, Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding, Ice Cube and the reunited LCD Soundsystem.