Details about Coachella’s radius clause have come out

INDIO, CA - APRIL 13: Vince Staples performs onstage during the 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 13, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella)

Details about the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival’s radius clause have come out, due to a lawsuit filed by an Oregon fest. Musicians who agree to perform at Coachella are then not allowed to play any other festival in North America between December 15th and May 1st, with stricter rules for Southern California events.

The suit filed by Soul’d Out Productions claims that the radius clause sets up a monopoly for Coachella, Goldenvoice, and AEG. Soul’d Out had attempted to book a few acts for its Portland show, including SZA and Daniel Caesar, but they couldn’t participate due to a radius clause that forbid them for playing.

While it was initially thought that the radius clause applied just to the west coast, details in the civil complaint (obtained by Amplify) shows restrictions are much more strict than that. Per the legal note, Coachella performers are not allowed to:

  • Perform any festival in North American from December 15 to May 1.
  • Perform at any hard ticket concerts in Southern California during that same time period.
  • “Advertise, publicize or leak” performances at competing festivals in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington or Arizona or headliner concerts in Southern California that take place after May 1 until after May 7.
  • Announce festival appearances for the other 45 states in North America until after the release of the Coachella lineup in January (note: there are exceptions for Austin’s South by Southwest, Ultra Miami and the AEG-backed New Orleans Jazzfest).
  • Publicize tour stops in California, Arizona, Washington and Oregon until after the January Coachella lineup release (note: there is an exception for Las Vegas casinos, but not Las Vegas festivals).

“Such a clause has a substantial chilling effect on the market for music venues,” the lawsuit stated.

Lawyers for Coachella and AEG defend the policy, saying it serves as protection against competitors who might be “unfairly free-riding on its creative choices in selecting its artist lineup.”