Coachella sues Ghanaian music festival Afrochella for trademark violation

Coachella and Goldenvoice are suing Afrochella for ‘intentionally trading on the goodwill’ of the festival’s renowned name and trademarks.

Afrochella reminds you of Coachella? It’s only natural. Any name that includes ‘Chella‘ will inevitably remind you of the name of this American mega music festival, which over the years has established itself as one of the best-known and internationally acclaimed. It is to avoid such confusion or false associations that brands resort to trademark protection, protecting with the registration of the name, logo, and more, to secure the brand’s reputation legally. When the trademark is infringed, there are lawsuits, which is exactly what happened in this case. Last October 5th, The Coachellla Music Festival, LLC and its organizer Goldenvoice filed a lawsuit in a California federal court against Ghanaian music festival Afrochella for alleged trademark violation. In this lawsuit, to which Pitchfork had access, it can be read that Coachella claimed that Afrochella was:

‘intentionally trading on the goodwill of [Coachella and Goldenvoice’s] 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 Plaintiffs’ actual trademarks as their own.”

The Afrochella festival, which has been running for a few years now, will hold its 2022 edition from 28-29 December at El Wak Stadium in Accra, Ghana. Some of the featured artists on the line-up are Burna Boy and Stonebwoy, as well as Ayra Starr, Fireboy DML, and Black Sherif.


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This is not the first time Coachella and Goldenvoice have sued an entity for trademark infringement. Last year Coachella and its organiser filed a similar lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment for contributory trademark infringement. This lawsuit stemmed from the organisation and promotion of the Coachella Day One 22 event, produced by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians.


Image Credit: Andrew Ruiz via Unsplash

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