Coachella Sues Ghanaian Music Festival ‘Afrochella’ for Trademark Infringement

Coachella Music Festival sues Ghanaian Afrochella

Photo Credit: Afrochella

Goldenvoice, the organizer of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, is suing a Ghanaian music festival over the name ‘Afrochella.’

The lawsuit was filed in California federal court last week and both Goldenvoice and Coachella claim willful infringement. The suit argues that Afrochella is “intentionally trading on the goodwill of well-known COACHELLA and CHELLA festivals and trademarks by actively promoting music events in the United States and in Ghana using the confusingly similar mark ‘AFROCHELLA’ and by fraudulently attempting to register Plaintiff’s actual trademarks as their own.”

Goldenvoice and Live Nation settled a similar lawsuit earlier this year over an event organized and promoted by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians. The event was called Coachella Day One 22 and borrowed the name of the valley itself. Goldenvoice took Live Nation Entertainment to court over selling tickets for the event.

Afrochella 2022 will take place on December 28 & 29 at El Wak Stadium in Accra, Ghana.

Some of the artists slated to headline the event include Burna Boy and Stonebwoy, Ayra Starr, Black Sherif, Fireboy DML, and others. The filed lawsuit also cites instances on social media in which people have confused the ‘Afrochella’ brand for being associated with Goldenvoice or the Coachella festival.

“To be honest, first time I heard the name ‘Afrochella’ I thought ‘Coachella’ was trying to enter the African sphere,” reads one tweet cited in the lawsuit. The lawsuit asserts that the similarities between the two names are intentional since Afrochella Co-Founder Edward Elohim has admitted to attending Coachella 2018 on social media.

It also cites similarities between the ‘Afrochella’ logo’s branding and Coachella’s font, which is also trademarked at the USPTO. Golden voice is seeking damages for trademark infringement and any profits generated from the infringement, in addition to $100,000 per infringing domain name in statutory damages.