AEG Calls For Dismissal Of Radius Clause Suit

Coachella 2018
AP Photo
– Coachella 2018

AEG filed a motion June 15 to dismiss the lawsuit filed against it by Soul’d Out Productions, claiming the Portland, Ore., promoter fails properly to state claims for violation of antitrust laws, unlawful restraint, intentional interference, and unfair competition.

The original suit, filed in Portland, Ore., April 9, claims Goldenvoice and AEG use “significant leverage” to extend radius clauses to unreasonable distances and unfairly limits the ability of smaller festivals to compete.

“Numerous artists have declined to perform at the Soul’d Out Music Festival and have cited the unlawful Radius Clause in their contracts,” the suit states, “with Coachella as the sole reason that they cannot do so.”

The motion to dismiss from AEG counters that radius clauses are standard within the industry and Soul’d Out’s claims aren’t enough to merit a full trial.

The filing explains that two of the three specific artists mentioned in the suit signed on to play Coachella before Soul’d Out even approached them, meaning allegations that Coachella organizers unfairly target smaller surrounding promoters are false.

The documents also showed the Coachella radius clause prohibits performances at any festival in North America for almost five months surrounding the event, and prevents “hard-ticket” shows in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Arizona during the same period, as first reported by Amplify.

When the suit was initially filed, Pollstar explored the ramifications of large radius clauses with Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P., owner of the 9:30 Club and The Anthem in Washington, D.C.: “It’s important to protect any big play in a market, but it’s gotten out of hand as agents close deals. Either the buyer or seller says well OK, for that much money, nobody plays this far from it.

“The seller doesn’t think this through because they are so overjoyed at getting that big number to impress everyone, it doesn’t occur to them how it hurts surrounding markets. Or they don’t care.”

“The buyer has no reason to care. The fact is, the further a radius clause, the more you might force someone far away to go to your show. It’s incredibly short-sighted to let these borders creep and make new bad precedents. Serves nobody except that one deal.”

This year’s Soul’d Out Music Festival in April was headlined by Erykah Badu and De La Soul. Coachella was once again a blockbuster event, headlined by Beyoncé, The Weeknd, and Eminem.