Coachella has faced increasingly negative press over the past few years due mostly to its out of touch fanbase.
Then it came out that its founder and owner of the festival-eating conglomerate AEG, Philip Anschutz, is an old white man billionaire who supports old white man billionaire things like anti-LGBTQ and climate change denying groups.
And now the latest instalment of bad press for Coachella is that its extremely restrictive artist exclusivity clause has just been made public. Rumours about an overly repressive radius clause had been circulating for a while, but due to an ongoing antitrust lawsuit with Soul’d Out Festival in Oregon, the entire thing has been made public, and it's worse than we thought.
Some of the crazier conditions are:
- All artists who play Coachella are barred from performing any festival in the entirety of North America between 15 December and 1 May.
- All artists who play Coachella are also barred from putting on their own shows in Southern California over the same period.
- All artists who play Coachella can't let it be known that they're performing at any festival in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, or Arizona that take place after 1 May until after 7 May.
- All artists who play Coachella can't announce festival appearances in any of the other 45 American states until after the Coachella lineup is announced in January.
- All artists who play Coachella can't advertise their own concerts in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, or Arizona until after the Coachella lineup is announced in January.
It will be interesting to see what comes next. Maybe a big artist will come out against these clauses and the festival will cave to public pressures to ease these measures. Or maybe nothing will happen and Coachella will remain an unstoppable force.