Coachella are reportedly in the process of dealing with a couple of lawsuits as the festival gears up to kick off its 2018 edition this Friday.
As TMZ reports, the family of a former security worker for Coachella have recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the festival, alleging that organisers failed to provide adequate safety measures.
In April of 2016, Micha’la Josephine Freeland was struck by a vehicle while crossing an unpaved road near the festival campgrounds, before tragically passing away later that night. The family claim that proper barricades, lighting and warning signs were not provided, making it a dangerous environment for both patrons and staff to be around.
However, the issue at play is that Freeland was reportedly off the clock at the time of the incident, though Freeland’s family allege the festival was aware that staff would be frequenting the area, and claim that their negligence contributed to her passing.
Meanwhile, Variety reports that Soul’d Out Productions have recently filed an antitrust lawsuit against Coachella, AEG Presents, and Goldenvoice, claiming that the festival’s radius clause, which restricts where artists are allowed to play before and after an event, is akin to an illegal monopoly.
The Soul’d Out festival, which is held more than 16,000 km north of Coachella, alleges that they attempted to book a number of acts performing at the California festival, including SZA, Daniel Ceasar, and Tank And The Bangas, but were denied by the artists, claiming that their contracts prohibited them from performing.
“By means of this clause, Defendants prohibit artists who seek to perform at Coachella from performing at any other festival or themed event within a distance that extends over 1,300 miles (2,092 km), and for a period of nearly five months surrounding Coachella,” the lawsuit noted.
“Such a clause has a substantial chilling effect on the market for music venues within the territory covered by the Radius Clause.”
“Because Defendants have substantial market power, they are able to coerce artists into agreeing to these unlawful restrictions on trade,” it continues. “As a result, those artists have lost the benefits of performing at competitive venues or festivals that exist on the West Coast.”
As Variety notes, a spokesman for AEG Presents responded with a statement explaining, “Radius clauses are common in the concert business where promoters take great risk and spend huge sums to produce marquee festivals, tours and other shows.”
“The producers of Coachella will vigorously defend against this lawsuit, which calls into question a long-standing industry practice that is crucial to our ability to continue offering fans the unrivaled experience for which Coachella has become known.”
Coachella is set to kick off this Friday in Indio, California, and will run across two weekends before wrapping up on April 22nd.