The "radius clause" bans Coachella performers from playing within 1300 miles for 5 months on either side of the festival.
The lawsuit was brought in U.S. federal court by Soul'd Out Productions, an Oregon company that runs the Soul'd Out Music Festival in Portland. (This year's edition of Soul'd Out starts next Wednesday, and its lineup features Erykah Badu, Wyclef Jean and De La Soul.) It takes aim at Coachella's "radius clause," which prohibits artists who perform at the festival from playing anywhere within 1300 miles of the Indio location, from five months before to five months after the event.
According to the Portland Business Journal, Soul'd Out claims that requirement amounts to an illegal "anti-competitive" business practice. Their event happens nearly 900 miles away from the Coachella Valley. "We seek no less than to operate in a fair and open environment," says Soul'd Out co-founder Nicholas Harris, adding, "Music, and the culture that births it, is not a commodity to be exploited. It is meant to inspire and enrich our lives."
Soul'd Out has named Coachella itself and affiliated companies including Goldenvoice and global entertainment giant AEG as defendants in their lawsuit. It seeks an injunction against the "radius clause," and compensation for claimed damages.
Goldenvoice issued a statement to Celebrity Access in response to the lawsuit. It reads in part: "Radius clauses are common in the concert business... The producers of Coachella will vigorously defend against this lawsuit, which calls into question a long-standing industry practice that is crucial to our ability to continue offering fans the unrivaled experience for which Coachella has become known."
Coachella takes place over the next two weekends, with a lineup that includes Beyoncé, Eminem, St. Vincent, The Black Madonna and Jamie Jones.