The production company Goldenvoice, which organizes Coachella, has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the festival. Afrochella, from Ghana. The event is scheduled for December 28 and 29 in Accra, the country’s capital, and will feature African pop music stars such as Burna Boy and Fireboy DML.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in California, the US state where Coachella, one of the most popular festivals in the world, is held. According to Goldenvoice, Afrochella is “intentionally taking advantage of the goodwill of the famous festivals and trademarks Coachella and Chella by actively promoting music events in the United States and Ghana, using the confusingly similar branding Afrochella.”
“Not content with just imitating and trying to take advantage of Coachella’s goodwill, the defendants went so far as to apply in Ghana for the registration of Coachella as their own trademark,” the lawsuit further revealed. “Despite repeated requests by plaintiffs, defendants refused to adopt their own event name and, as a result, cases of confusion have already surfaced on social media.” The information is from Pitchfork.
Coachella’s lawsuit seeks injunctive relief and damages for an alleged willful infringement by Afrochella.
In 2017, former Afrochella director Edward “Deezy” Elohim even said on Twitter that the festival was “a Coachella themed event.”
Coachella first warned Afrochella in 2016. In the 30 page lawsuit filed against the festival organizers in Ghana, they add a screenshot of one of the organizers @deezydothis describing Afrochella as a “Coachella themed event” pic.twitter.com/EyAZCBiJK8
— Ebenezer Donkoh (NY DJ) (@nydjlive) October 7, 2022
On its official website, however, Afrochella describes itself as “a celebration of Africa’s diverse culture and the vibrant work of creative African entrepreneurs.”
Coachella itself is scheduled for the weekends of April 14-16 and April 21-23, 2023. The last edition had concerts by Brazilian stars Anitta and Pabllo Vittar.