When one of the biggest music festivals in the world is named after the region where it goes down, there’s bound to be some confusion, and maybe even legal action. This has been the case this past month as Goldenvoice, which operates the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (that we all commonly know as simply “Coachella,”) filed multiple restraining orders against Live Nation and the Day One ’22 NYE concert/fest (fka “Coachella Day One 22”) that they are producing alongside the Coachella Valley-based Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians.
Goldenvoice’s first effort against Live Nation was successful, thus leading to the name change of the event which now does not include the word “Coachella.” But Rolling Stone reports that on Monday, December 27th, a judge denied a second effort from Goldenvoice (which is owned by AEG) that would have denied Live Nation the ability to sell tickets to the event no matter what the name. Day One 22′ will go down on New Year’s Eve at the Coachella Crossroads venue, which is a couple of miles away from the Empire Polo Field where the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is held. The Day One 22′ lineup features Lil Wayne, E-40, DJ Diesel (Shaq), and Getter.
As Rolling Stone further reports, Judge R. Gary Klausner rejected Goldenvoice’s latest restraining order because the naming of the event came from the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, who are entitled to sovereign immunity from this type of legal action. The tribe isn’t named in the restraining order and this has allowed them to maintain their promotional material with the current name, and continue to sell tickets leading up to the event. The Chairman of the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, Darrel Mike, issued a statement on the latest advancement:
“Today’s response from Judge Klausner is a win for the Tribe, the community and our ticketing partners at Live Nation. As a community and nation who reside in Coachella, California — we are equally thrilled that our outdoor venue, Coachella Crossroads will be able to continue operation under its given name. The strongarming of Goldenvoice and its parent company AEG to take reign over a name of a region and businesses who choose to identify with it is disrespectful to small and large business operations, those under their employ and the indigenous people who live within the valley.”
It’s wild to consider how Goldenvoice has essentially proven a justifiable claim on the rights to using the word “Coachella,” based on the ubiquity of their festival. It feels like a slippery slope for other festivals that rise to such notable prominence in small regions that could stake a claim to the use of the name of said region. This is definitely a win for the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, but we should not breeze past the fact that in the end, this boils down to a Goldenvoice vs. Live Nation legal tiff.