PORTLAND, Ore. (CelebrityAccess) — Concert promoter AEG has filed a motion asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by concert and festival promoter Soul’d Out Productions over the allegedly anti-competitive nature of AEG’s festival booking practices.
Soul’d Out, which organizes the Soul’d Out Music Festival in Portland, filed the suit in April, alleging that it had been injured by the Coachella promoter’s anti-competitive business practices, including a radius clause in artists contracts for the festival.
Soul’d out accused AEG of using its clout in the talent market to lock in artists, preventing Soul’D Out from booking those artists for its own festival, which is held concurrently with AEG’s Coachella festival.
“It is remarkable that Coachella thinks it is reasonable to exert its market power over 1,000 miles away, to harm a much smaller, regional music event,” says Nika Aldrich of Schwabe, Williamson, and Wyatt, attorneys for Soul’d Out Productions said in a statement in April.
In asking the court to dismiss the suit, AEG argued that Soul’d Out had failed to make their case that AEG’s booking practices affected the festival market as a whole and that they failed to prove that AEG’s practices targeted out Soul’d Out’s business.
“The terms of the radius clause do not prevent artists from playing different venues in different locations in the same year. Under the radius clause, artists are free to play non-festival concerts nearly anywhere in the U.S., leaving ample opportunities for venues to book those artists and for consumers to see their favorite artists in different venues,” attorneys for AEG argued in the motion to dismiss.
Lawyers for AEG went on to note that tickets for Coachella sell out before the lineup is announced, which they believe undercuts Soul’d Out’s anti-competition arguments.
“Plaintiffs’ true gripe with the radius clause is that it prevents Plaintiff from free-riding on the popularity of Coachella and the investment AEG has made in developing its artist lineup and ensuring those artists play at Coachella. Indeed, Plaintiff admitted in the initial Complaint that its concern with the radius clause is that it would have to “pay more money to bring artists in who are not already scheduled to be on the West Coast during Plaintiff’s festival.” AEG’s attorneys said in the motion.