Afrochella 2021.


Coachella Sues Afrochella for Trademark Infringement

According to Coachella, Ghana's Afrochella is "benefitting from Coachella's goodwill and trademarks."

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is suing Ghana's Afrochella for trademark infringement. The lawsuit was filed on October 5 in a California federal court and stated that Afrochella organizers were knowingly "trading on the goodwill" of Coachella and its affiliate events by confusingly using the word "Afrochella" and attempting to register Coachella's actual trademarks as their own. The documents, stated that Afrochella organizers were "not simply content to imitate and attempt to trade on the goodwill of Coachella, Defendants even went so far as to apply in Ghana to register Coachella as their own trademarks.”

Documents, obtained by Pitchfork, also pointed out that the organizers of Afrochella deliberately chose the name with the "specific intent to create a suggestion that it was a part of Coachella." The documents further stated that Coachella organizers had reached out to the Afrochella team a few years prior to make adjustments, but were allegedly ignored.

“Despite repeated requests from Plaintiffs, defendants have refused to adopt their own distinctive event name, and as a result, instances of actual confusion have already appeared on social media.”

In a recently re-surfaced social media post, there is evidence showing that Edward “Deezy” Elohim, Afrochella's former boss admitted that Afrochella was affiliated with Coachella.

In 2019, Coachella organizers cautioned the general public that it did not want Afrochella attendees to believe that the Ghanaian festival was “authorized by, or affiliated with, AEG or Coachella.”

Last year, Coachella Music Festival, LLC and Goldenvoice, LLC took similar legal action against Live Nation Entertainment for alleged trademark infringement, and the lawsuit was settled earlier this year.

This year's Afrochella Festival is slated for December 28 through December 29, 2022, at the El Wak Stadium in Ghana, with Burna Boy and Stonebwoy as its headliners and other big names like Ayra Starr, Black Sherif, Fireboy DML, and more. Since it began, the festival has gained a reputation for celebrating African culture and music. According to the festival's official website, the theme for this year's event is "Afrofuturism," and the show will highlight Africa's thriving talent.

"The festival is designed to elevate and highlight the thrilling and thriving millennial talent in Africa by introducing an interactive event that teaches, explains, and explores various cultures through a pioneering approach. Afrochellans will experience art and creative activations from the continent, celebrate African music, and taste premium and cultured cuisine."