Coachella's radius clause is coming under legal fire.
It was originally reported that Coachella’s radius clause—which prevents participating artists from performing within a specific geographic area for a certain amount of time—was limited to five states. Previously, many were led to believe that this restriction only applied to California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Arizona.
Now, new reports suggest that festival organizers have restricted performers from hitting the stage at any major festivals in North America from December 15 to May 1st, with only a few exceptions.
Radius clauses are typically put into place in order to ensure that festivals and other major shows do not face competition that results in a loss of ticket sales if an artist is performing at another show near the specified venue at a close date.
It was in an amended civil complaint filed by organizers of Oregon’s Soul’D Out Festival that Coachella’s own radius clause came into question when Soul’D Out was prevented from booking Tank and The Bangas, SZA, and Daniel Caesar who were already booked for Coachella around the same time as their own festival.
According to the complaint, AEG, owner of Coachella’s organizer’s GoldenVoice also prevents artists from performing at “hard-ticket” concerts in Southern California during that Dec. 15-May 1st period. Additionally, artists are barred from announcing appearances in all 50 states in North America until after the Coachella lineup is announced in January, with exceptions made for South by Southwest in Austin, Miami’s Ultra Fest, and the AEG-owned New Orleans JazzFest. Artists are also restricted from announcing tour stops in California, Arizona, Washington, and Oregon before the Coachella lineup is announced with an exception made for Las Vegas casino performances.
“The entire purpose of the radius clause is to protect AEG from competitors unfairly free-riding on its creative choices in selecting its artist lineup,” said Coachella’s legal team in a court filing. “As more festivals proliferate, maintaining a unique festival lineup is crucial for Coachella to remain competitive.”