An indigenous tribe based in Coachella, California has criticised the annual music festival Coachella over its trademark infringement suit against Live Nation.
The festival, which is operated by promoter Goldenvoice and its parent company AEG, won a temporary restraining order against Live Nation over an upcoming New Year’s Eve event called Coachella Day One 22.
No action was taken by Coachella against the tribe, known as The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, but the tribe’s chairman said in a statement given to Rolling Stone they considered the suit “a direct attack on us and the region”.
“The event is developed as a thank you at no cost to the community and an attempt to bring people together safely to celebrate what we hope will be a prosperous 2022,” Darrell Mike said. “AEG and Goldenvoice have taken ‘ownership’ of a name via trademark rights to an area they fully believe they ‘founded’, even though their event does not take place in Coachella, California, but rather in Indio, California.”
Coachella 2019. Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
Mike continued to claim that vendors were “being threatened” with “being ousted” from future AEG events should they work on Day One 22. He noted that the alleged move put “local families at financial risk and [could cripple] the community economically”.
“Our tribe and other nations have been in the region for thousands of years, relocated to reservations not of our choice, where we have had to develop businesses and governments to preserve our communities, culture, and heritage,” he added. “Entertainment happens to be a part of our economic diversity for longer than Goldenvoice has produced their festival.
“Although we were under no obligation to do so, we have respectfully removed ‘Coachella’ from the title of our event on marketing and sales materials living online. We hope that we can move away from this matter, so Day One 22 taking place at Coachella Crossroads, in Coachella, California, can be celebrated in the spirit for which it was created.”
NME has contacted representatives for Coachella for an official response to Mike’s claims.
When the temporary restraining order was approved earlier this week (December 21), Judge R. Gary Klausner declared that Coachella and Goldenvoice were “likely to succeed” in proving the infringement. The order meant that Day One 22’s branding must be changed, but did not prevent the concert – which will be headlined by Lil Wayne – from going ahead as planned.