Coachella has become one of the most recognizable names in the festival circuit worldwide, let alone in popular culture basically everywhere. A large part of its identity lies, not surprisingly, in its name. This is not Romeo & Juliet, and “a rose by any other name” would not smell as sweet – a festival’s branding is everything.
So when LA-based festival Hoodchella began to expand its event to three days from one, Goldenvoice took notice.
Yesterday, Coachella’s organizers filed a suit in U.S. district court against underground Los Angeles-based event Hoodchella, alleging trademark and service mark infringement, false designation of origin, dilution, unfair competition and, most vividly, “cybersquatting,” a term used in this case over the fest’s registration of the hoodchella.com domain name.
The suit is pretty straightforward: Coachella seeking “at least $100,000, in addition to the injunction, attorneys’ fees, the surrender of Hoodchella’s domain name and other damages.” In essence, Coachella’s goal is to get Hoodchella to change its name, but it’s not going down without a fight.
Organizers have started a petition on Change.org to “Save Hoodchella.” Their argument is that they have no association with Coachella, and their patrons are aware of that fact.
A similarly named festival in the LA area, Brokechella, has already rebranded to Broke LA, so it seems likely that Goldenvoice got to them, as well. It might only been a matter of time before Hoodchella succumbs to the massive festival giant.
From the glitter-confetti-filled ashes of Brokechella… pic.twitter.com/OhHM1AnxKb
— BROKE LA (@brokelafest) January 15, 2016
Story via Billboard/Dan Rys