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Goldenvoice plans new festival, clarifies vaccine rules

Goldenvoice, one of the largest promoters in the world, is launching a new festival in southern California in 2022.

California Vibrations, or Cali Vibes, will take place at Marina Green Park in Long Beach from 4–6 February 2022 with performances from Wu-Tang Clan, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Koffee and more, across multiple stages.

The three-day event will also feature a special Bob Marley birthday performance from the Marley Brothers including Ziggy, Stephen, Damian, Ky-Mani and Julian Marley.

The celebration will mark what would have been their father’s 77th birthday with a catalogue of Bob Marley songs.

According to the AEG subsidiary, Cali Vibes is a celebration of Southern California music, beach culture and reggae “vibrations”. Three-day ticket prices start at $285 plus fees.

Coachella made headlines today after the promoter reversed its plan to require vaccinations for ticketholders

In the US, Goldenvoice produces several festivals, most notably Coachella, as well as operating 14 mid-sized venues and promoting over 1,800 shows per year.

Coachella made headlines today after the promoter reversed its plan to require vaccinations for ticketholders to its April 2022 events.

Instead will only require proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours of the event (although proof of full vaccination will work as well).

While the new policy is not in line with AEG’s full-vaccination requirement, also announced in August, the company told Variety that “the policy will be implemented as an open-ended one, with any changes or reversals informed by updates relating to infection rates, transmission data, variant developments, and local and federal regulations.”

 


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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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It’s official: Coachella rescheduled for October

April’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival – traditionally the unofficial start to the festival season in the northern hemisphere – is being pushed back to October, organisers have announced, becoming the biggest music-biz casualty of the coronavirus to date.

Confirming a story first broken by Billboard on Monday 9 March (which reported Goldenvoice was working to reschedule the event), at around 11pm GMT last night the promoter released a statement stating Coachella will now take place on 9–11 and 16–18 October 2020, while country music festival Stagecoach is pushed back to 23–25 October 2020.

Coachella 2020, headlined by Frank Ocean, Travis Scott and a reunited Rage Against the Machine, was original set for 10–12 April (weekend one) and 17–19 April (weekend two) at its traditional home of the Empire Polo Club (125,000-cap.) in Indio, Riverside County, California.

Yesterday (10 March), Riverside County voted to declare a public health emergency in response to the novel coronavirus, Covid-19. At the time of writing, there have been at least 14 cases of the virus recorded in California.

“We take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously”

“At the direction of the county of Riverside and local health authorities, we must sadly confirm the rescheduling of Coachella and Stagecoach due to Covid-19 concerns,” reads Goldenvoice’s statement.

“While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously. We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials.”

Coachella and Stagecoach are the third and fourth major US festival postponements due to concerns over the virus, which has now infected around 120,000 people worldwide, following Ultra Miami and Austin’s South by Southwest.

In Europe, where Covid-19 is more widespread, festival promoters are still biding their time – though widespread bans on large public gatherings across the continent appear to signal further cancellations, and many tours have been called off.

 


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Morrissey, Blondie to head up new Goldenvoice fest

The inaugural edition of Cruel World festival is taking place in Los Angeles this May, marking the newest addition to the Goldenvoice portfolio.

Morrissey, Blondie, Bauhaus, Devo, Echo and the Bunnymen and the Psychedelic Furs are among acts performing at the one-day event on 2 May at the Grounds at Dignity Health Sports Park (27,000-cap.), LA.

Promoted by AEG’s Goldenvoice, Cruel World adds to the organiser’s stable of California festivals, which includes Coachella, this year headlined by Travis Scott, Frank Ocean and Rage Against the Machine, and country music event Stagecoach Festival.

Goldenvoice also operates multiple venues in Los Angeles and the Bay Area and promotes over 1,400 concerts a year in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Alaska and Canada, in addition to recently promoting a number of North American tours, including dates by K-pop stars Blackpink.

Tickets for Cruel World festival go on sale on Friday 14 February at midday pacific time, with the presale beginning the day before. Prices start from US$135.

 

 


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Festival Fever: more line-up announcements for 2020

Continuing the series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ rounds up line-ups from US festivals Coachella and Bonnaroo, and European events Wacken Open Air, Pinkpop, Melt! and Pohoda.

(See the previous edition of Festival Fever here.)

 


Wacken Open Air

When: 30 July to 1 August
Where: Wacken, Germany
How many: 75,000

Leading metal event Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) sold all 75,000 tickets for its 2020 edition in under 24 hours. Slipknot, Amon Amarth, Judas Priest and Mercyful Fate are among those playing the 2020 event.

Speaking to IQ for a special 30th anniversary feature last year, W:O:A co-founder Thomas Jensen said the event was “kind of a home for a dedicated group of people”. Jensen and fellow Wacken co-founder Holger Hübner are to receive the lifetime acheivement gong at this year’s European Festival Awards.

Jensen and Hübner’s International Concert Service (ICS), which includes a roster of other hard rock festivals, a touring division, a booking agency (Seaside Touring), ticketing platform Metaltix and the nonprofit Wacken Foundation, received investment from James Barton-led Superstruct Entertainment last year.

Fans can sign up to the waiting list for Wacken 2020 tickets here.

W:O:A sold all 75,000 tickets for its 2020 edition in under 24 hours

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

When: 10 to 12, 17 to 19 April
Where: Empire Polo Club, California, USA
How many: 125,000

AEG/Goldenvoice-promoted mega festival Coachella is returning to the Californian desert for two consecutive weekends in April, marking the start to the international festival season.

Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean are headlining the event, alongside performers including Calvin Harris, Thom Yorke, Lana Del Rey and Flume.

Coachella 2019 saw headline performances from Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino and Tame Impala. Last year’s festival also saw the introduction of a new, AR-enabled stage.

Tickets for both Coachella weekends are now sold out. Fans can join the waiting list for tickets here.

Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean are headlining the 2020 event

Pinkpop

When: 19 to 21 June
Where: Megaland, Landgraaf, the Netherlands
How many: 60,000

Pinkpop, promoted by Buro Pinkpop in partnership with Mojo Concerts, last year celebrated its 50th anniversary, with founder Jan Smeets receiving a special commemorative coin to mark his achievements.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Post Malone and Guns N’ Roses are headlining Pinkpop for its 51st edition, which also features performances from Twenty One Pilots, Rag’n’Bone Man, Anderson Paak, Nothing But Thieves and Keane.

Artists including Fleetwood Mac, Mumford and Sons and the Cure played the festival’s anniversary event last year.

Tickets for Pinkpop 2020 are available here, priced at €230 (£195) for a three-day pass.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Post Malone and Guns N’ Roses are headlining Pinkpop for its 51st edition

Pohoda

When: 9 to 11 July
Where: Trenčín Airport, Slovakia
How many: 30,000

Pohoda, Slovakia’s biggest music festival, will this year welcome acts including Stormzy, the Libertines, Metronomy, Thom Yorke, Wolf Alice and Floating Points.

The festival, which has sold out for the past two years, won the Take a Stand Award at last year’s European Festival Awards for its commitment to peace and tolerance, with festival director Michal Kaščák winning the prize for excellence and passion.

Pohoda, which means ‘peace’ in English, is nominated for the best medium festival award, line-up of the year and the health and safety innovation award at the upcoming European Festival Awards 2019, taking place on 15 January at Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen, the Netherlands.

Tickets for Pohoda 2020 are available here, with a three-day festival ticket priced at €109 (£93).

Pohoda, Slovakia’s biggest music festival, will this year welcome acts including Stormzy, the Libertines and Metronomy

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

When: 11 to 14 June
Where: Great Stage Park, Tennessee, USA
How many: 20,000

Tool, Lizzo and Tame Impala are headlining Bonnaroo, in the festival’s first year under full Live Nation ownership.

Other announced acts include Miley Cyrus, Lana Del Rey, Vampire Weekend, the 1975, Flume and Bassnectar.

Live Nation, which had a controlling interest in the festival since 2015, acquired the remaining stake from the event’s co-founder Superfly last year. Fellow co-founder AC Entertainment continues to promote the event alongside Live Nation and C3 Presents.

Tickets for Bonnaroo 2020 are available here, with prices ranging from US$329 (£251) for general admission to $3,275 (£2,502) for a platinum pass.

Tool, Lizzo and Tame Impala are headlining Bonnaroo, in the festival’s first year under full Live Nation ownership

Melt!

When: 17 to 19 July
Where: Ferropolis, Gräfenhainichen, Germany
How many: 20,000

Melt! Festival, one of the biggest open-air electronic music events in Germany, this year features sets from Bicep, Floating Points, DJ Stingray, Marcel Dettman, Nina Kraviz and Helena Hauff, as well as performances from Burna Boy, Little Simz and Woodkid.

Taking place at Ferropolis –‘the city of iron’ –, a former open-cast mine complete with enormous, decommissioned industrial machines, Melt! Last year featured acts including Bon Iver, Skepta, Jorja Smith, Asap Rocky, Four Tet and Solomun.

Melt! Festival creative director Florian Czok, who also works as an agent at Berlin’s Melt! Booking, was named as one of IQ’s 2019 New Bosses.

Tickets for Melt! 2020 are available here, priced at €124.95 (£106).

 


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Coachella 2020 line-up revealed

The line-up for the 2020 edition of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has been unveiled, with Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean topping the bill.

The AEG/Goldenvoice-promoted mega festival, which takes place across two consecutive weekends in April, will also see performances from Lana Del Rey, Calvin Harris, Flume, Thom Yorke, Run the Jewels, Megan Thee Stallion and Lil Uzi Vert, with the same acts performing at both weekend one (10–12 April) and weekend two (17–19 April) of the festival.

The 125,000-capacity event, which is widely regarded as marking the beginning of the international festival season, will once again take place at its home of the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.

The line-up for Coachella 2020 has been unveiled, with Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean topping the bill

Coachella 2019 saw headline performances from Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino and Tame Impala. Last year’s festival also saw the introduction of a new, AR-enabled stage.

Tickets for weekend one of the event, which went on advance sale in June, are now sold out. Presale for the second weekend starts on 6 January at 12 p.m. PT. Fans can register for the presale here.

Festival travel platform Festicket teamed up with Coachella in July to become the exclusive UK and Europe ticketing partner for the 2020 event.

See the full line-up below:

Coachella 2020 line-up revealed


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APE overcomes sound issues for successful first weekend

AEG Presents’ All Points East returned to London’s Victoria Park over the weekend, following up on the success of its inaugural edition last year, despite sound issues tainting performances for some.

The first weekend of All Points East took place from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 May in the east London park with headline performances from the Chemical Brothers, the Strokes and Christine and the Queens.

The festival is held over two consecutive weekends, with four days of free, community events held on the site in between. This year marks the second outing of the AEG Presents/ Goldenvoice event, which had a “highly successful” first year in 2018.

The Strokes made their first UK appearance in four years, heading up the bill on the festival’s second day, alongside the Raconteurs, Interpol and Johnny Marr. However, festivalgoers claimed the set was marred by poor sound quality.

Fans also complained about the sound quality during Johnny Marr and Interpol performances.

All Points East organisers released the following statement in response to the complaints:

“The sound quality at our shows has been of a consistently high standard since we started All Points East in 2018”

“Thank you to the Strokes for joining us last night for a truly incredible show. The sound quality at our shows has been of a consistently high standard since we started All Points East in 2018 and we were disappointed to learn that there was a sound issue in some areas of the site during the Strokes’ set.

“The sound engineers worked hard to address the problem as quickly as possible and, whilst it improved, we regret that a section of the audience didn’t have the audio experience that we expect for them. We will be responding to individual customers in the next few days.”

No sound issues were reported the following night. Christine and the Queens closed the first weekend of the festival on Sunday evening with a well-received debut headline performance.

Ten-day All Points East continues throughout the week with four days of free-to-access offerings including outdoor cinema viewings, live music, dance workshops, sporting activities, yoga sessions, children’s theatre and street food and pop-up bars.

Weekend two kicks off on Friday 31 May with headliners Bring me the Horizon, followed by Mumford and Sons and Bon Iver on Saturday and Sunday.

AEG Presents/ Goldenvoice have a five-year contact with Victoria Park owner Tower Hamlets Council, for exclusive use of the park for events.

 


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Kanye, Bieber, Will Smith perform at Coachella

The second and final weekend of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival came to a close on Sunday 21 April, with Kanye West hosting an Easter “Sunday Service” and Justin Bieber making a return to the stage after a lengthy hiatus.

The 2019 edition of Goldenvoice’s Coachella (125,000-cap.) has now come to an end, following two consecutive weekends of live music and surprise appearances in the Californian desert.

Kanye West hosted a performance on the closing Sunday of the event as part of his series of Sunday Service performances – invite-only sessions in which the rapper performs alongside a gospel choir in secret locations.

Chance the Rapper, Kid Cudi and DMX joined West for the performance atop a hill, some miles away from the main festival site.

Another surprise performance came in the form of Justin Bieber, who joined Ariana Grande on stage for a rendition of his 2015 single ‘Sorry’. The Canadian singer also used the performance to hint at the release of a new album.

The 2019 edition of Coachella has come to an end, following two weekends of live music and surprise appearances in the Californian desert

Will Smith also appeared on the Coachella stage, joining his son Jaden Smith for a performance of the rapper’s song ‘Icon’.

Weekend one of the festival saw Grande break records as Coachella’s youngest-ever headliner, Childish Gambino pay tribute to Mac Miller, the debut of a state-of-the-art augmented reality experience and the introduction of Amazon lockers to the festival.

California’s Empire Polo Club has hosted Coachella since its inaugural edition which took place over two days in 1999. The festival later added its second weekend in 2012.

A 2018 lawsuit filed against Coachella’s radius clause, which forbids acts from playing other North American festivals for five months around the festival, was dismissed last month.

The dates for next year’s Coachella are yet to be announced.

Coachella 2019: weekend one round-up

The first weekend of Goldenvoice’s California-based festival took place from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 April, with headline performances from Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande.

Tickets for weekend one of the 125,00-capacity festival sold out in just forty minutes this year. Here’s what ticket holders experienced over Coachella’s opening weekend…

Performances
Ariana  Grande broke records as Coachella’s youngest-ever headliner, whereas Blackpink became the first all-female K-pop group to play at the festival.

Grande appeared on stage with a host of guests including *Nsync (without Justin Timberlake), Diddy, Mase and Nicky Minaj. Technical difficulties related to microphones affected Grande’s set, along with that of other performances over the weekend.

Donald Glover, who performs as Childish Gambino, was one among several acts to pay tribute to the late rappers Nipsey Hussle and Mac Miller.

Gambino also used the festival to premier the film Guava Island, in which he stars alongside Rhianna. The film is available to stream for free via the Coachella YouTube channel and Amazon Prime for the duration of the festival.

New additions
Coachella debuted its new augmented reality (AR) experience over the weekend at its AR-enabled Sahara Tent stage, where acts including Jaden Smith, Kid Cudi, Whiz Khalifa and Diplo performed.

“We want to provide fun and cutting edge experiences for the people who attend the show”

Fans were able to access AR filters through their phones using the Coachella Camera page of the festival app, superimposing outer space-themed objects onto the festival stage and throughout the tent. Festivalgoers could also save photos and videos of the AR experience.

“We want to provide fun and cutting edge experiences for the people who attend the show,” says a Goldenvoice spokesperson. “During sets, attendees can use a number of different AR filters that react to the audio coming out of the speakers.”

Another new addition at this year’s Coachella came in the form of on-site Amazon Lockers, enabling attendees to order festival-approved items including food products, phone chargers and suncream straight to the lockers on the Empire Polo Club grounds.

Health and safety
A fire broke out in a shower block located in the festival’s campsite, causing panic and distress among festivalgoers, many of whom posted videos of the incident on social media.

Firefighters attended the scene to quench the flames, containing the blaze within half an hour. One trailer was damaged and another destroyed. No injuries were reported.

The incident follows the death of the festival’s lead rigger during set-up on Saturday 6 April.

Coachella is back for weekend two from 19 to 21 April.

 


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Coachella radius clause lawsuit dismissed

Judge Michael Mosman has dismissed a lawsuit brought by Oregon promoters Soul’d Out Productions against Coachella Music Festival (125,000-cap.), and organisers AEG and Goldenvoice, regarding the festival’s so-called ‘radius clause’.

Federal judge Mosman dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice earlier this week (Tuesday 11 March), preventing Soul’d Out Productions’ Nicholas Harris and Haytham Abdulhadi from re-filing their suit.

The judge found that there was no antitrust injury to Harris and Abdulhadi, founders of Soul’d Out Music Festival (1,480-cap.).

The Portland, Oregon, festival promoter 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 also say 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 has been rejected.

“Maintaining a unique festival lineup is crucial for Coachella to remain competitive”

“We are pleased with the court’s decision today to dismiss the lawsuit challenging the agreements between Coachella and artists,” says Shawn Trell, general counsel and chief operating officer for Goldenvoice and AEG Presents.

“Coachella is focused on providing an incredible festival experience for both fans and artists, and looks forward to another special event next month.”

Despite the unsuccessful lawsuit, the Oregon promoters did bring attention to Coachella’s radius clause requirements, publishing previously-unreleased provisions of the agreement.

In addition to avoiding North American festivals and headline concerts in five states, Coachella also forbids artists from announcing plans to play other events until after the Coachella line-up release in January. Artists are also prohibited from publicising appearances at West Coast festivals until weeks after Coachella closes.

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”.

In addition to dismissing the antitrust claims, Mosman also noted that he planned to dismiss claims of unlawful restraint of trade, unfair competition and tortious interference. Harris and Abdulhadi have 30 days to appeal the ruling.

 


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