California’s Coachella claims Afrochella tried to patent ‘Chella’ and invade the U.S. market. Three years have passed since AEG (the owner of Goldenvoice – the concert giant behind Coachella) warned the Afrochella event about violating the festival’s trademark.
As reported by Rolling Stone, the lawsuit was filed on Wednesday, October 5, at a California district court.
In 2019, AEG wrote to Afrochella organizers: “We understand that you are using Afrochella as the name of a music and arts festival. We note that your event is part of a larger celebration that is designed to attract those living abroad (including those in the United States) to return home to Africa
“Regardless of the celebration or event, your use of Afrochella as the name of a music and arts festival is highly likely to create a likelihood of confusion and mistake as to the affiliation, connection, or association of you with AEG and with Coachella. In particular, the public is likely to believe that you are authorized by, or affiliated with, AEG or Coachella. In fact, you have even admitted that your event name and your event were inspired by Coachella. Similarly, comments to own your own Facebook page comment that your festival name is merely trading on the goodwill of the Coachella mark.”
Goldenvoice alleges in its lawsuit that Afrochella organizers tried to patent “Coachella” and “Chella” in Ghana. They also pointed out that the “Chella” component of their Afrochella logo utilizes a typeface almost identical to Coachella’s.
Plus, social media evidence tweets from Afrochella organizer Edward Elohim saying he was inspired by the 2018 Coachella and admitted that the Indio.
“A Coachella-themed event wasn’t going to be called the Gye Nyame Fest.”
Despite the initial warning, and after a pandemic-affected postponement in 2020, Afrochella returned to Accra, Ghana in 2021 and 2022.
Despite the festival being scheduled for South Africa later this month, Goldenvoice has filed a lawsuit to further protect what they claim is ownership of everything “-chella”.
In the lawsuit, it was also mentioned that the website for the African festival is based in North America, which aids in luring festival-goers from the United States.
AEG is requesting a restraining order against using the Afrochella name, $100,000 over claims of cybersquatting domain names, and damages for unfair competition and trademark infringement.