Coachella Sues Afrochella for Trademark Infringement

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Popular Ghanaian music festival Afrochella has been hit with yet another scandal after one of the festival’s co-founders stepped down following a sexual harassment allegation. According to reports by Rolling Stone, Goldenvoice, the brains behind the world-famous Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, is suing Afrochella’s organizers for an alleged trademark infringement.

Goldenvoice, in the lawsuit filed on October 5, accused the Ghanaian Afrobeats festival of “deliberately trading on Coachella’s goodwill and trademarks by promoting music events in the USA and Ghana using “AFROCHELLA,” which can easily be mistaken as a Coachella derivative. Coachella and Goldenvoice also claim that Afrochella fraudulently attempted to register their trademarks as their own in Ghana.

Coachella is undoubtedly one of the largest, most profitable, and most popular music festivals in America and beyond.  Consequently, it is easy to see why its organizers are concerned about the similar-sounding Afrochella, which is likely to create confusion regarding affiliations and associations in the minds of the masses.

Goldenvoice has solid social media evidence to prove that many fans are confusing the two festivals. Afrochella also seems to have shot itself in the foot because one of its organizers, Edward Elohim, admitted to attending the 2018 Coachella and drawing inspiration for Afrochella from the experience. 

Goldenvoice is seeking an instant restraining order on the use of “AFROCHELLA.” In addition, it is also requesting damages for service mark and trademark infringement as well as unfair competition. Afrochella may also pay $100,000 over accusations of cybersquatting domain names.

This year’s Afrochella event is scheduled to occur on the 28th and 29th of December at Accra’s famous El Wak stadium. However, it remains to be seen whether the event, which will feature hot artistes like Black Sherif, Stonebwoy, and Burna Boy, will come off as planned in the wake of these latest developments.

Written by Jesse Hornsby-Odoi

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