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Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Ye to headline Coachella ’22

Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival organisers have announced the full line-up for the upcoming 2022 edition.

Harry Styles, Billie Eilish and Ye (aka Kanye West) are to headline the festival’s first in-person event since 2019, which will run across two weekends (15–17 and 22–24 April) at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.

Styles’ headline set will mark his debut Coachella performance, while Eilish’s will qualify her as the youngest-ever headliner at Coachella, following a seminal performance at the festival back in 2019.

Travis Scott was reportedly set to top the bill but was allegedly removed following the crowd crush tragedy at his Astroworld event last year.

Other artists billed for the Goldenvoice-promoted festival are Swedish House Mafia, Flume, Megan Thee Stallion, Disclosure, 21 Savage, Phoebe Bridgers, Doja Cat, Joji, Jamie xx and Run the Jewels.

Danny Elfman, Carly Rae Jepsen, Big Sean, Idles, Spiritualized, Stromae, Brockhampton, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Caribou, Caroline Polachek, Vince Staples, Ari Lennox and Kim Petras are also slated to perform.

Travis Scott was reportedly set to top the bill but was allegedly removed following the tragedy at his Astroworld event

According to today’s announcement, the 2022 edition will also include a collaboration with 88rising, a US-based artist management company, record label and media brand focused on east Asian artists.

The poster references the label’s annual LA-based music festival, Head in the Clouds. No further details have been revealed yet.

Coachella had its 2020 festival postponed twice due to the pandemic. It was rescheduled to April 2021, but postponed once again in January of that year, when the public health officer in charge of Riverside County, where the festival is held, signed a public health order cancelling Coachella and its sister festival, the country music event Stagecoach.

News emerged last October that Goldenvoice had signed a long-term agreement with the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, which will enable the promoter to stage additional festivals on the site.

Goldenvoice is one of the world’s biggest promoters; the company produces several festivals, including recently announced California Vibrations, operates 14 mid-sized venues and promotes over 1,800 shows per year.

 


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Friday round-up: World news in brief 7/1/22

Welcome to IQ‘s weekly round-up of news from around the world. Here, in bite-sized chunks, we present a selection of international stories you may have missed from the last seven days…

MEXICO:

Dead & Company and promoter CID Presents have cancelled their Playing in the Sand destination festival less than 24 hours before it was due to take place. The annual event had been set for Riviera Cancun over two weekends from 7-10 and 13-16 January, but has been axed due to a spike in Covid cases. “Dead & Company and CID Presents tried everything possible to bring normalcy and to deliver a great experience and amazing music, but with each day it became increasingly clear that cancelling is the correct thing to do for the fans and for our crew,” says a statement on the band’s Instagram page.  Dead & Company frontman John Mayer had earlier pulled out of the festival after testing positive for coronavirus.

UNITED STATES:

A woman has filed a lawsuit against California’s The Forum, promoter Live Nation and ticketing platforms Ticketmaster and StubHub, alleging she was injured in a crowd crush at a Harry Styles concert at the venue in December 2019. According to court documents obtained by TMZ, the plaintiff claims the venue, promoters and ticketing services “failed to provide sufficient seating, lighting, security, supervision and crowd control”.

UNITED STATES:

A US judge rejected Goldenvoice’s bid to extend a restraining order against Live Nation in its trademark infringement lawsuit over a rival music event called ‘Coachella Day One 22’. The event’s promoter, Native American Tribe Twenty-Nine Palms, was not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit after claiming sovereign immunity, but Live Nation was accused of “contributory infringement” due to tickets for the New Year’s Eve event being sold on Ticketmaster. The event listing had already been changed to ‘Day One 22’ on Ticketmaster, which was permitted to continue selling tickets for the festival after the judge concluded it was no longer directly infringing the Coachella trademark. Tribal chairman Darrell Mike praised the ruling as “a win for the tribe, the community and our ticketing partners at Live Nation”.

UNITED KINGDOM:

Bengi Ünsal, head of contemporary music at London’s Southbank Centre, is switching to The Institute of Contemporary Arts in March as its new director. Ünsal was artistic and managing director of Istanbul’s Salon IKSV venue prior to joining the Southbank Centre in 2016, where she has overseen the annual Meltdown festival with guest curators MIA, Robert Smith and Nile Rodgers. This year’s Grace Jones-helmed edition is set for June.

UNITED KINGDOM:

Well-being organisation Music & You has teamed up with beauty cosmetics firm Lush, entrepreneur Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella, and mental health campaign #IAmWhole to create a fund providing free therapeutic support to people who are working, or used to work, in the live music sector pre-pandemic. To apply, individuals should complete this application form by no later than midnight on Thursday, 20 January. Applicants will be notified of a decision by 22 January.

UNITED STATES:

TodayTix Group has acquired live events ticketing platform Goldstar. The deal marks the latest move for TodayTix, which has been on an acquisition spree since 2020,  purchasing four companies including theatre specialist Show-Score; London-based Encore and Broadway Roulette.“We are focused on unlocking as much potential as we can so when the industry returns we can be a big part of its recovery,” the company’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Fenty, tells Variety. “We are live events purists through and through. We really do believe that despite the toll of the pandemic, there’s going to be a Roaring ’20s. We believe that people are desperate for arts and culture and are eager to get back into theatres.”

UNITED KINGDOM:

Britvic has been named as The O2’s new Official Soft Drinks partner in a five-year deal, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, with Pepsi Max served and seen across the London venue. The partnership will mean pouring and supply rights across all bars at Indigo at The O2 and concourse bars, suites and premium bars including The Deck, AMEX Lounge, O2 Blueroom and Sky Backstage bars at The O2 arena. The deal will also welcome a takeover of the level 1 bar which is to be rebranded as The London Essence Company bar. In addition, Britvic will have activation opportunities at the venue and access to tickets for Up at The O2 ­ for promotional use. Meanwhile, Birmingham-based NEC Group has announced a multi-year deal with Molson Coors Beverage Company, which is responsible for a portfolio that includes Pravha, Staropramen, Rekorderlig and Coors. The deal will see Pravha being named as the official beer of Utilita Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena with bars across both venues carrying the Pravha branding.

UNITED STATES:

Dice has ramped up its North American expansion by becoming the ticketing partner of the Newport Jazz Festival and Newport Folk Festival. The partnership will see the events, which will be held in Rhode Island in July, offer digital ticketing for the first time. “Every year of the event, we work with our partners to innovate beyond traditional ticketing,” says Newport Folk executive producer Jay Sweet. “In a year where fans deserve to get out and go see the music they love, we know Dice is the right partner to make things as easy as possible, fair, transparent and intuitive for our Newport Family. We want these tickets in the hands of our fans and not on the secondary market.”

 


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Coachella wins restraining order over rival event

Coachella has been granted a temporary restraining order against Live Nation in its trademark infringement lawsuit over a rival music event called ‘Coachella Day One 22’.

Live Nation is accused of “contributory infringement”, as Ticketmaster is selling tickets for the 31 December event, which is being organised by Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians at a Southern California venue it has named ‘Coachella Crossroads’.

“Despite repeated requests from plaintiffs, Twenty-Nine Palms has refused to adopt its own distinctive event name or venue name and marks,” states the original filing in the Los Angeles district court.

According to the Industry Observer, US district judge R Gary Klausner ruled yesterday (20 December) that Coachella Day One 22 would likely confuse people into thinking it was connected with the established Coachella Festival, run by AEG’s Goldenvoice division.

It notes the temporary restraining order will prevent the sale or advertisement of tickets while the case is further contested. The event listing had already been changed to ‘Day One 22’ on Ticketmaster.

Live Nation advances only one, uncompelling argument

Live Nation’s claim that the order was unnecessary since Coachella’s standing meant it was unlikely to be impacted by a similar-sounding event, was rejected by the judge.

“Live Nation advances only one, uncompelling argument [that] Coachella’s incredible success demonstrates that its reputation will not suffer material harm from [a] ‘one-night New Year’s celebration’,” he said. “This argument is simply unpersuasive.”

Twenty-Nine Palms is not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit as the Native American Tribe has asserted through its lawyers that it is entitled to sovereign immunity.

Coachella Festival is scheduled to return to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California from 15-17 and 22-24 April 2022. Its last two in-person editions were cancelled due to Covid-19.

 


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Coachella sues Live Nation over ‘Day One’ event

Coachella Music Festival and producer Goldenvoice are suing Live Nation for trademark infringement over a music event called ‘Coachella Day One 22’, which is advertised on Ticketmaster.

The 31 December event is being organised by Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians at a Southern California venue it has named Coachella Crossroads.

‘Plaintiffs have no objection to Twenty-Nine Palms holding a festival of their own or hosting events at their venue, but it must adopt and use an event name and mark, as well as a venue name and mark, that avoid a likelihood of consumer confusion and false association with Plaintiffs,” states in the filing in the Los Angeles district court.

“Despite repeated requests from plaintiffs, Twenty-Nine Palms has refused to adopt its own distinctive event name or venue name and marks. Twenty-Nine Palms has even copied plaintiffs’ advertising, promotional and marketing materials, including incorporating similar color schemes along with design elements.”

The claimants note that Twenty-Nine Palms has refused to change the names of Coachella Day One 22 and Coachella Crossroads, despite numerous requests. However, the promoter is not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit as it is asserting through its lawyers that it is entitled to sovereign immunity.

Although Twenty-Nine Palms may have sovereign immunity, others contributing to the infringement do not have the same privilege

“Although Twenty-Nine Palms may have sovereign immunity, others contributing to the infringement do not have the same privilege and are subject to claims for contributory infringement as well as the court’s jurisdiction,” adds the suit.

“Accordingly, Plaintiffs have been forced to file this action to protect the Coachella trademarks and service marks from infringement, and unfair competition, and to protect the public from the likelihood of confusion.”

According to the lawsuit, Coachella and Goldenvoice sent cease and desist letters to both Live Nation and Twenty-Nine Palms in late October.

“The letter further demanded that Live Nation immediately cease all sales of tickets for the Coachella Day One 22 event, and any other music festivals, live music performances or similar events at the Coachella Crossroads, and remove all use of Coachella from any advertising for the event or venue, including on its website.

“Upon receipt of the October 28, 2021, cease and desist letter, Live Nation changed the listing… on ticketmaster.com to read ‘Day One 22’ rather than ‘Coachella Day One 22’. The event, however, continues to be advertised as Coachella Day One 22 in certain Live Nation advertising and in other advertising associated with the event.

“Despite knowing about the infringing conduct, Live Nation continued to provide services supporting Twenty-Nine Palms’ infringement and have materially encouraged, enabled, and contributed to the infringing conduct.”

Goldenvoice’s Coachella Festival is scheduled to return to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California from 15-17 and 22-24 April 2022. Its last two in-person editions were cancelled due to Covid-19.

 


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Goldenvoice positions itself for new events at Coachella site

Goldenvoice has signed a long-term agreement with the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, which will enable the promoter to stage additional festivals on the site.

The 642-plus acre desert oasis has been home to Goldenvoice’s Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival since its inception in 1999, as well as its country music counterpart, Stagecoach, which first took place on the grounds in 2007.

The newly announced deal will see the AEG Presents subsidiary take over year-round operations at the festival site and polo fields, which are estimated to be worth US$80 million, according to local land records.

Additionally, the LA-based promoter and live events company is permitted to host two additional three-day events on the site every year, according to Billboard, prompting speculation that Desert Trip may return to the site after its debut in 2016.

“The new long-term lease will assure that the iconic Coachella and Stagecoach will continue for many years to come”

The deal also provides Goldenvoice oversight of the Empire Grand Oasis, a special event property in Thermal, California.

The Haagen Family, owner of the Empire Polo Club, says: “We are pleased to continue our long-term relationship with Paul Tollett and Goldenvoice. The new long-term lease will assure that the iconic Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festivals will continue for many years to come and allow Goldenvoice to expand their vast catalogue of musical acts on both of Empire’s properties. We wish the very best to AEG, Goldenvoice, and Paul Tollett with their future plans.”

Paul Tollett, president at Goldenvoice, says: “Goldenvoice has had a unique relationship with Empire Polo Club for over twenty-five years. It is a privilege to now take over the operations of the venue and we look forward to continuing to build upon the special history that has been established there. It’s immeasurable how much we’ve learned from Al Haagen.”

In August, Indio City Council extended its development agreement with Goldenvoice, allowing Coachella and Stagecoach to take place in the city until 2050. The promoter generates $3.5m for the city of Indio each year, according to city records.

Goldenvoice is one of the world’s biggest promoters; the company produces several festivals, including recently announced California Vibrations, operates 14 mid-sized venues and promotes over 1,800 shows per year.

 


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Major US festivals reschedule as Coachella cancels

Goldenvoice’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach Festival will no longer take place this April after being issued with a cancellation order by local authorities.

Cameron Kaiser, public health officer for Riverside County, California, tweeted late on Friday (29 January) that neither festival – scheduled for 9–11/16–18 April and 23–25 April, respectively – would be allowed to go ahead in light of the deteriorating coronavirus situation in the state, which passed 40,000 deaths from Covid-19 the following day.

It is the third time the festivals, which take place on the same site in Indio, in the Coachella Valley, have been called off since March 2020, when they were originally rescheduled for October, and then again to April 2021.

Aside from Glastonbury Festival in the UK, Coachella is the biggest international music festival to have cancelled its 2021 event, casting a pall over the summer festival season. It is unclear whether Coachella and Stagecoach, a country music event, will again attempt to reschedule for autumn or aim for a 2022 return.

Goldenvoice owner AEG has already pushed back one festival, the seven-day New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, to later this year: Jazz Fest, which normally begins on the last weekend in April will instead take place from 8 to 17 October.

“If Covid-19 were detected at the festivals, the scope and number of attendees would make it infeasible … to track those who may be placed at risk”

“It’s taking longer than we want, but we’ll all have our celebration when the time comes,” says festival producer Quint Davis. “Your health, along with the health of our musicians, food and crafts vendors, and all of the folks that work to make the magic happen, remains the priority as we plan the return of Jazz Fest.”

Also making the move from summer to the autumn months are a pair of Live Nation events, Bonnaroo (2–5 September) and New York festival Governors Ball (24–26 September), neither of which have announced a 2021 line-up, and Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival, which has applied for an event permit for the weekend of 10–12 September, as opposed to its normal July dates.

The decision to cancel Coachella and Stagecoach was taken over concerns that both festivals could have been super-spreader events for the coronavirus, according to the order linked by Kaiser. “If Covid-19 were detected at the festivals, the scope and number of attendees and the nature of the venue would make it infeasible, if not impossible, to track those who may be placed at risk,” it reads.

Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease specialist, predicted last month that indoor shows could return “some time” in autumn, depending on the pace of the US vaccine programme.

 


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Coachella “radius clause” lawsuit: ruling reversed

A lawsuit regarding Coachella’s restrictive “radius clause” is moving forward after an Oregon judge reversed his 2019 ruling to dismiss the case, according to Billboard.

On Wednesday (19 August) Oregon District Court Judge Michael Mosman ruled that the lawsuit filed by Soul’d Out Music Festival founders Nicholas Harris and Haytham Abdulhadi could now proceed, bringing the dispute closer to a possible trial.

The founders of Soul’d Out Music Festival (1,480-cap.) first filed the lawsuit in April 2018, claiming that the contractual restriction preventing acts on the Coachella bill from playing at any other festival in North America from 15 December to 1 May, amounts to anti-competitive behaviour on the part of organisers.

Harris and Abdulhadi said that the radius clause has damaged their event, Soul’d Out Music Festival.

Mosman granted an AEG motion to dismiss the antitrust claims and partially dismissed the lawsuit in October 2018. The plaintiffs were allowed to re-file their complaint, granted they revised their definition of “relevant markets”. However, the re-filed lawsuit was rejected.

In March 2019, federal judge Mosman dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice (11 March), preventing the Soul’d Out Productions’ founders from re-filing their suit against Coachella Music Festival (125,000-cap.), and organisers AEG and Goldenvoice.

“We expect that, after complete discovery, a jury will find that Coachella’s radius clause is unreasonable”

That decision was overturned 14 months later when a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that Soul’d Out Music Festival had been harmed by the radius clause and had a right to challenge the contract’s validity.

Now, the case will now move into the discovery phase with lawyers for Soul’d Out expected to subpoena artist contracts for the festival and internal communications.

“We are pleased that the court has agreed that Soul’d Out’s complaint was sufficient and that the case can go forward,” Harris and Abdulhadi’s lawyer, Nika Aldrichsaid. “We expect that, after complete discovery, a jury will find that Coachella’s radius clause is unreasonable, and that AEG’s use and abuse of that clause to hurt local music festivals was unlawful.”

The Oregon promoters were the first to bring attention to Coachella’s radius clause requirements, publishing previously-unreleased provisions of the agreement.

Coachella attorneys defended the policy, explaining in a court filing accessed by Amplify that “the entire purpose of the radius clause is to protect AEG from competitors unfairly free-riding on its creative choices in selecting its artist lineup.”

The lawyers stated that “maintaining a unique festival lineup is crucial for Coachella to remain competitive.” AEG’s lawyers also protested against the release of the radius clause letter, that was provided “for settlement purposes only”.

 


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Covid-19 restrictions claim major US festivals

Goldenvoice’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will not take place this year, despite being pushed back six months, as the Covid-19 pandemic triumphs over the last few major US festivals still standing.

The news comes days after the cancellation of C3 Presents’ Lollapalooza Chicago (100,000-cap.), the festival franchise’s flagship edition, which was due to take place from 30 July to 1 August, representing some of the final losses of the 2020 US festival calendar. Events including Live Nation/AC Entertainment’s Bonnaroo (24 to 27 September) and BottleRock Napa Valley (2 to 4 October), both rescheduled, are currently still going ahead as planned.


A weekend-long virtual event will take place over the original festival weekend, showcasing archival footage from Lolla Chicago, as well as the festival’s six international editions.

Coachella (125,000-cap.), along with its country music counterpart Stagecoach, had previously been moved from its original dates in April to October in a bid to circumvent coronavirus restrictions.

However, yesterday (10 June), public health officer Dr Cameron Kaiser announced he was “concerned” that Covid-19 “could worsen” in the autumn.

“Given the projected circumstances and potential, I would not be comfortable moving forward [with Coachella and Stagecoach],” said Kaiser.

“These decisions are not taken lightly with the knowledge that many people will be impacted”

“These decisions are not taken lightly with the knowledge that many people will be impacted. My first priority is the health of the community.”

Kaiser also pointed out that mass gatherings such as festivals fall under the “highest-risk” category in the state of California’s four-step reopening plan, and will only be permitted to restart in the final phase “once therapeutics have been developed.

Coachella 2020 was set to feature headliners Rage Against the Machine, Frank Ocean and Travis Scott over two consecutive festival weekends at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Riverside County, California.

Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church were among those to perform at Stagecoach the weekend after Coachella.

Dates for the 2021 editions of Coachella and Stagecoach have yet to be announced.

Earlier this week, Goldenvoice parent company AEG announced it would be laying off 15% of its workforce and furloughing over 100 employees, in addition to enacting pay cuts across the company.

Photo: Ben_1/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) (cropped)

 


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‘Change-seeking robot’ Miquela signs with CAA

Miquela, a singer, model, influencer and robot, has become the first-ever virtual client to sign with Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

The CGI-generated avatar, who was previously signed to WME, will be represented by CAA in all areas, including music, TV, film, brand strategy and commercial endorsements.

Created by robotics and artificial intelligence startup, Brud, Miquela was introduced to the world via her Instagram account in 2016. The avatar now has 2.2 million followers on the platform and almost 600,000 on TikTok.

Miquela, or Lil Miquela, as she is also known, has released a number of singles, including a recent collaboration with (human) singer Teyana Taylor called ‘Machine’. Software and pitch-correction tools are used to create Miquela’s vocal performances. It is unknown who provides her voice.

Described as a “change-seeking robot”, Miquela is currently raising money for the MusiCares Covid-19 relief fund on her Instagram page.

“Over the last few years, we’ve watched the team at Brud create a true multi-hyphenate in Miquela”

Non-human artists have appeared in all kinds of forms in recent years. Japanese vocaloid Hatsune Miku, who takes the holographic form of a blue-haired teenager, has performed live in Asia, North America and Europe. The vocaloid was due to play this year’s Coachella festival, which has now been postponed to October due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lil Mayo, an alien-meme-turned-Instagram-influencer, ranked in third place on IQ’s Radar Station chart in January. The alien puppet’s single ‘Be Gone Thot’ has almost 14m streams on Spotify and over 11m on YouTube.

“Over the last few years, we’ve watched the team at Brud create a true multi-hyphenate in Miquela,” says Adam Friedman, CAA global client strategy executive. “We are excited to jump in and help her navigate the world of television and film, and also see a unique opportunity for innovative, forward-thinking brands to align with a culturally relevant, icon-in-the-making.”

Founded in 2014, Brud has raised US$6.1m in funding from investors including Spark Capital, BoxGroup, Sequoia Capital and Founders Fund.

 


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Footage from major fests to be shown in WMG’s PlayOn Fest

Past performances at major festivals including Coachella, Primavera Sound and Rock in Rio, as well as from venues such as the O2 Arena, will be streamed as part of Warner Music Group’s three-day virtual event, PlayOn Fest.

The event, which kicks off on Friday (24 April) at midday EDT will stream live for 72 hours via the Songkick YouTube channel, allowing fans to “relive epic performances for one time only”.

The virtual festival will raise funds for the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Covid-19 solidarity response fund through the sale of merchandise and donations.

Performances from over 65 acts, including Ed Sheeran, Cardi B, Coldplay, Twenty One Pilots, Bruno Mars, Janelle Monáe, Green Day and Slipknot will be broadcast over the three-day event.

“PlayOn Fest is a great way to come together, enjoy good music and company, and support the WHO’s most urgent global work to combat Covid-19”

PlayOn Fest will include festival footage from Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Primavera Sound and Rock In Rio, as well as live shows from London’s O2 Arena, Sydney Opera House and Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

“During this pandemic, we are all searching for ways to stay connected,” says Elizabeth Cousens, president and CEO of the UN Foundation, which powers the WHO’s Covid-19 fund.

“The PlayOn Fest is a great way to come together, enjoy good music and company, and support the World Health Organization’s most urgent global work to combat Covid-19.”

Over the weekend, the Global Citizen-organised, Lady Gaga-curated One World: Together at Home benefit concert, which featured live performances from acts in real time, raised $127 million for the WHO’s fund.

Read more about the booming business of livestreaming here.

Photo: slgckgc/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)

 


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