Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival’s parent company, Goldenvoice, has sued the Ghanaian music festival Afrochella for trademark infringement. Goldenvoice filed a lawsuit in a California district court after warning the festival’s organizers.
Afrochella, according to the suit, intends to capitalize on the goodwill of [Coachella and Goldenvoice’s] well-known COACHELLA and CHELLA festivals and trademarks by actively promoting music events in Ghana and the United States using the confusingly similar mark ‘AFROCHELLA’, as well as fraudulently attempting to register Plaintiffs’ actual trademarks.”
The Afrochella Experience Celebrates Africa’s Diverse Culture As Well As The Vibrant Work Of African Creatives And Entrepreneurs.
Goldenvoice warned in 2019 that festival-goers shouldn’t believe that Afrochella is endorsed by or affiliated with AEG. Therefore, according to Goldenvoice, the team behind Afrochella “admitted” that its name and event were “inspired by the festival.” According to Goldenvoice, the festival’s name is merely trading off the event’s goodwill, as stated on its Facebook page.
The pandemic forced Afrochella, like the stated festival, to postpone its event plans in 2020. The organizers, however, ignored the warning and held the festival in Accra, Ghana in 2021.
This year’s fest is scheduled for December 28 and 29. Afrochella plans to expand to South Africa later this month, and the organizers are looking forward to hosting US-based events in the future. In court documents, Goldenvoice claims the organizers attempted to patent the “Chella” name even in Ghana, to protect its ownership of anything related to the name.